‘App’lying her talents to the mobile marketplace

Working both as an Android and iOS developer on co-op gave Elise Murray, CIS’12, more than just the technical know-how to say, “There’s an app for that.” Now she can say, “I have a job doing that.”

Murray, who graduated in May as a combined major in computer science and business with a concentration in entrepreneurship, spent two summer co-ops working for Boston-based mobile commerce company Where, Inc., performing upgrades to the company’s smartphone apps and fixing bugs.

The experience helped her land a full-time job with PayPal — a business unit of Ebay, the ecommerce giant that acquired Where, Inc., last year. Murray will become an official member of PayPal’s Android developer team this week.

“It was incredible to work in such a growing industry before I’d even graduated,” said Murray, who worked part time this spring to help develop PayPay Here, which allows merchants to use smartphones to take payments from customers.

All her life, Murray has been fascinated with electronics and eager to get her hands on the latest gadgets. “I remember hearing about the first iPod being released, and knowing I had to have it,” she admitted.

At Northeastern, this passion fueled Murray’s desire to pursue her co-op experiences, which she credits with providing her the flexibility to embrace new challenges and tackle the ever-evolving programming world early in her career.

She even released two smartphone apps as a student — AirhornPlus, which allows users to unleash the blistering sound of an air horn at a moment’s notice, and Historicise, which acts as a digital memory book for users to record their most significant lifetime moments.

This spring, Murray was honored at the Cooperative Education Awards ceremony and was named one of Northeastern’s Most Influential Seniors.

Melissa Peikin, Murray’s co-op coordinator, said that while Murray didn’t have a computer science background when she came to Northeastern, her enthusiasm to fearlessly dive into co-op and absorb as much knowledge as possible propelled her to success.

“I think Elise defines what the co-op program can actually do for a student,” Peikin said. “Everything was new for her freshman year. She wasn’t quite sure where she saw herself in this field, but co-op changed that for her. That’s where she got a chance to shine.”