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Alumnus earns dual degree, becomes Microsoft Software Engineer

  • CECS
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • African American
  • Academics
  • Graduate Studies
  • COVID19
Rene Moise Kwibuka

Microsoft Software Engineer Moise Kwibuka landed his job after becoming one of Oklahoma Christian University’s first dual degree Computer Engineering students, graduating with both his bachelor’s and master’s in 2017.

“I love my job,” Kwibuka said. “I get to work on a new project for Microsoft 365. I was lucky because, when many people start, they are asked to maintain already existing software. I get to build programs from scratch and help customers when they have technical issues. I get to make a difference!”

Oklahoma Christian University celebrates a strong relationship with the Republic of Rwanda. With an office in the heart of Kigali, Rwanda, many students opt to earn their graduate degree online. However, the strong relationship allows many Rwandan students to attend school on OC’s United States campus. After earning high marks on his national exam, and minimal knowledge of English, Kwibuka hopped on a plane to Oklahoma City in pursuit of an engineering degree.

OC students can concurrently earn their bachelor's and master's degrees.

Being an international student, familiar with the requirements of studying in another country, Kwibuka particularly valued efficiency in earning his degrees. During his junior year, OC began the accelerated degree program, allowing engineering students to earn both their bachelor’s and master’s at the same time. Kwibuka immediately recognized the opportunity. After uncovering his passion for programming, he shifted from Electrical into Computer Engineering and took on the task of earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously.

“The Electrical and Computer Engineering program here is strong,” Kwibuka said. “You get the help you need. It’s up to you to focus. If you do, the sky's the limit, you can get anywhere.”

OC allowed Kwibuka to apply his newfound knowledge right away. With a recommendation from Professor Andy Harbert, Kwibuka earned an internship in the database center at Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma.

Concurrently earning two degrees while also working an internship requires dedicated discipline and a passion for learning. Engaging in such rigorous coursework also means that down time needs to be scheduled. Kwibuka found time away in intramurals. Name the sport, he played it. Kwibuka was a dedicated intramural athlete for Alpha Gamma Omega, and even tried his hand at Spring Sing, OC’s iconic musical parody show.

The multitasking, computer engineering pro made his mark in the community. In 2019, Microsoft reached out to Kwibuka, primarily based on his LinkedIn profile, asking if he was interested in a new position. Soon after, he packed up his things, said goodbye to Oklahoma City and settled into Seattle, Washington to start his life as a Microsoft Software Engineer.

Kwibuka was fortunate to return to Oklahoma and work remotely.

Shortly after, COVID-19 hit and changed jobs everywhere. While the pandemic has caused much strife, Kwibuka tries to keep up a positive attitude.

“I recognize that the coronavirus has been a tragedy. It’s hurt a lot of people,” Kwibuka said. “I am just thankful for the opportunity to return ‘home’ to Oklahoma to see my friends from college while working remotely.”

OC is home to innovative students that go on to work for large, influential companies where they make a big difference, and OC is home to Moise Kwibuka who found his home away from home, a place he misses and looks back fondly at, a place he gives partial credit to for his big-time career at Microsoft.