Karl Shaffer, Ambassador

Karl Shaffer


Computer Science, Mathematics


Business Administration

Greensboro, NC

Why you chose your major

Since I was 5, I knew I wanted to work for computers. In fact, since third grade the only think I put on my Christmas List was the fact that I wanted a white MacBook for Christmas. So when I came to the University, the jump to computer science was easy. However, since starting at the University, the influence of my friends, advisors, and a careful consideration of what I wanted to do with my degree led me to add on Mathematics to help bolster my logic and critical thinking skills and further to add Business Administration in order to build the skillset I would need to either be a leader in industry or one day start my own company.

Favorite course

By far, the best course I've taken at UNL so far has been Old World, Our World, a history honors seminar I took during the first semester of my Freshman year. This is coming from a kid who absolutely loathed Social Studies in High School. Old World, Our World showed me that with the right professors, and field could be interesting and luckily for me, Dr. Berger (my professor at the time) was the right professor. He was so incredibly passionate about the topic that I couldn't help but be interested in the topic as well. It was a fantastic experience and I'll always treasure it.

Research or internship experience

This past summer, I had the pleasure and honor to be an Engineering Practicum Intern working with Google in Mountain View, CA working on the Wear OS team. Wear OS is Google's smartwatch platform. It was phenomenal getting to work on a project that I knew millions of people use every single day. To know that the code I was writing was code that would be used to better the lives of millions of people around the world was awesome. Not to mention, getting to walk into work every day at one of the most recognizable and well-known companies of the 21st century was an incredibly surreal experience.

Other involvement

I'm involved broad range of activities here at the University. I'm the Treasurer for the Kauffman Residents' Association, my residence hall government. I'm also the President of the Raikes School Student Advisory Board. In addition to this, I'm a lead on a Design Studio project as well as a Head Teaching Assistant for an introductory computer science course.

Why you chose Nebraska

I chose to come to UNL for two main reasons: First, as a member of the Raikes School, I knew the experience of getting to be part of a small community while also a Big 10 University would be like no other. Further, the curriculum at the school as well as the opportunities the school exposed me to are like none other. Second, I came to UNL because it was affordable. I knew that if I stayed in the midwest, I could get a phenomenal education that could set up the foundation for me working at large companies or even starting my own business without having to pay an exorbitant amount for it.

Student Ambassadors group

Student Ambassadors are undergraduate students who talk to prospective students, parents, alumni, and the general public about the college.