Student Spotlight: Eric Reimer

Eric Reimer
Eric Reimer

AVHS E³ STEM student enrolls at DCTC as software development major

Eric Reimer, 19, a 2017 graduate of Apple Valley High School, is enrolled as a sophomore for fall semester 2018 at Dakota County Technical College. Eric is earning an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Software Development with plans to graduate from DCTC in May 2019.

Eric is a graduate of E³ STEM, or the Exploration, Education, Employment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math program at AVHS. As an E³ STEM student, he took part in an internship at SFM Mutual Insurance in Bloomington, Minnesota, during the summer of 2018. He worked as an intern at the company’s IT help desk. His role took him to various areas of the SFM workplace, where he honed his troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.

Eric Reimer speaking at AVHS E³ STEM recognition event May 2017

Eric Reimer speaking at AVHS E³ STEM recognition event May 2017

“During my internship at SFM, I worked on a project to replace the monitors of employees,” Eric said. “This involved working with over one hundred and fifty different people to get their monitors replaced. I was able to sit in on all development meetings during discussions about the continuation and optimization of current software being utilized by the company.”

Eric noted that he got the chance to meet with IT employees individually to find out how they contribute to the company’s IT infrastructure, adding, “Along with picking up a few hands-on tasks, I learned how to properly interact in a professional business setting, email coworkers, and be a positive and contributing member of a company.”

David Kaiser, SFM senior vice president and CIO, reported that his company values its partnership with the AVHS E³ STEM program.

“We started there when looking for a summer intern,” David said. “Eric was a great match for us and contributed to a number of projects plus learned about the corporate world by being exposed to our help desk, IS operations and software development teams. I have personally enjoyed having Eric intern with us and look forward to staying in touch with him as his career grows.”

Eric Reimer gallery

Based at DCTC, Allison Chuick serves as grant coordinator for the E³ STEM program. She explained that the program affords exploration, education and employment opportunities for high school students and first-year college students interested in STEM careers.

“Eric self-selected to be part of the program while at AVHS and has taken full advantage of this Department of Labor grant both in high school and in college,” Allison said. “One thing that stands out to me is Eric’s willingness to help. Toward the end of this past school year, he expressed interest in meeting with current AVHS students to talk about his experience at a two-year institution. He chose to do this and took time off of work to help younger students understand the benefits of a community or technical college. He was articulate, thoughtful and funny as he talked with students about life after AVHS. He appeared at total ease talking to the groups of students and leading the conversation. The students who met with him were very appreciative as was I.”

More about SFM

Mission and history ¹

Our mission and history are what made us the industry leaders we are today. A lot has happened since we were created in 1983, but through the years our overall mission at SFM has remained constant. We are passionate about:

  • Helping employers maintain safe work environments
  • Restoring injured workers to health and productivity
  • Avoiding unnecessary costs
  • Providing the very best in customer service
Read more…

Eric Reimer Q & A

Eric Reimer

Eric Reimer

Why did you choose your career path?
Making a computer program do things in seconds that would normally take thousands of hours is mesmerizing to me. Creating and innovating programs like that for use in the real world would be extremely fulfilling. Going into software development will make it way easier to get into a job that I can enjoy for a lifetime. Not to mention, software developers on average start at about $80K a year.

What are your long-range higher education plans?
After I get my associate’s from DCTC, I plan on continuing my education at Dunwoody to earn a B.S. in Software Engineering.

What are your long-range career plans?
After school, I hope to be part of a company where I’m able to let my creativity shine as a developer and teach other people what I’ve learned.

Three words that describe you as a college student:

What did you like best about the E³ STEM program?
My favorite part of E³ STEM was being able to learn specifics about my career path that I wouldn’t have learned without being on the job. The field trips were also a fun and engaging part of E³ STEM that played an important role in how I perceived positions in my field.

How did the E³ STEM program help you prepare for college?
I was able to take introductory summer classes that prepared me for my field of study, and in turn, gave me the insight to choose the career path for me. I was also able to practice my skills with interviewing and resumes that I will always carry with me.

What advice would you give students who are thinking about doing an internship?
Always make sure to ask questions whenever you can. Even if a question seems dumb, people are always willing to help you, and see that you succeed in any internship. Another important thing to understand is that you are always going to make mistakes, maybe even some big ones. Employers look at how you overcome those mistakes as opposed to critiquing you for making them.

Applications Software Developers

Develop and modify computer applications software.

Well above the statewide median of $20.07/hour


Median: $43.67/hour
High: $55.62/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $44.14/hour
High: $56.13/hour


This career is seeing high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 7.7 percent, or above the statewide average. There will be a need for about 290 new Applications Software Developers to meet market demand between 2014–2024. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

— Minnesota State CAREERwise Education

More about Eric Reimer…

Originally from Chandler, Arizona, Eric moved with his family to Minnesota when he was 5 years old. Eric’s father, John, works as a vending machine service person and installer at PepsiCo. His mother, Meredith, a payroll professional, also works at PepsiCo. His sister, Aimee, 18, graduated from the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley and has plans to study veterinary science at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.

Eric enjoys golfing whenever he can during the summer. He played on the AVHS golf team and shoots in the high 80s. He would like to go snow skiing more in the winter. Table tennis is another game he would like to pursue. Over the summer, he built his first PC workstation, spending only $600 on a powerful machine for the fraction of the cost of a store-bought computer.

“I am looking forward to all the computers I’ll build after that,” he said.

Eric resides in Burnsville, Minnesota, with his family. He has plans to join IT Club at DCTC. He is also interested in playing Dungeons & Dragons while going to college.

More about E³ STEM…

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $2.98 million Youth CareerConnect (YCC) grant to a partnership between Independent School District 196, DCTC, Inver Hills Community College, the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board and several top area employers, including Thomson Reuters, Emerson, Uponor and Augustana Regent.

ISD 196, in conjunction with Apple Valley High School, is the lead on the funded program: E³ STEM, or Exploration, Education, Employment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Read “Alicia Duo Named to YCC National Honor Roll” on DCTC News to learn more.

More about Software Development at DCTC…

This program prepares you to become a computer programmer. You will learn an array of programming languages used for software development. You will design, write, debug and test application software. Both individual effort and teamwork are emphasized. As a skilled graduate of the program, you will be equipped to provide software solutions for a range of employers.

Working conditions are generally indoors in offices or laboratories. Programmers convert data from project specifications and create problem statements to develop computer programs. Often employed in a team setting, programmers are also working more from home or other remote locations as telecommuting becomes more prevalent.

Visit Software Development to learn more.

Eric Reimer | 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Golf
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Australia or Europe
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Went skydiving in Wisconsin
  4. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “What would future you say?”
  5. Favorite all-time TV show: Breaking Bad or Dragon Ball Z
  6. Favorite all-time movie: Forrest Gump
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Retire at 40
  8. Most precious material possession: My bed
  9. Dream occupation: 80s rock star
  10. Person you would most like to meet: The first person to ever try cow’s milk
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Playing the electric guitar
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Creating a sustainable planet for the next 200 years
To learn more about Software Development at DCTC, contact:

Betty Krueger
Information Systems Technology Faculty

Judy Suddendorf
Information Systems Technology Faculty

Darryl Erickson
Information Systems Technology Faculty

Nathan Blommel
Information Systems Technology Faculty

To learn more about E³ STEM, contact:

Allison Chuick
E³ STEM Grant Coordinator

¹ Courtesy of SFM Mutual Insurance