Why did you come to Illinois Tech?
I chose Illinois Tech because of the well- respected reputation, long history of success and friendly culture. I admired the diversity within the student body and was motivated when I read about the projects and research. When reaching out to faculty and students, I felt an honest and humble spirit from everyone as they were all so approachable. It made transition as a transfer student easier.
Why did you choose your major and specialization?
I was excited to learn that Illinois tech offers a comprehensive program between both information technology and business principals. I admire that the program is known for an applied hands-on approach and goes beyond textbooks and lectures. I intend to take advantage of the ITM Co-Terminal Program and simultaneously pursue a bachelor’s degree in ITM and masters in Cyber Forensics and Security. Risk management, ethics, and legal issues all call to my attention, especially with the demand for woman in cyber security. In any work assignment or project, I found myself engaged in discussions that include developing better solutions whether it would be in both business and technical areas.
What is your favorite thing about being a student at Illinois Tech?
My favorite thing about being a student at Illinois tech is working in the ITM department. I get to work with advisors and faculty within our department and as well as meet other students within my program.
How has Illinois Tech helped you?
Illinois Tech has helped me with additional scholarships and grants. There are also so many resources made available to you almost everywhere that encourage networking, as well as professional and leadership development.
What are the courses like? How do they help you prepare for jobs/career?
Being in the ITM program you’ll come across many familiar faces within your courses. This makes it easier to build relationships with your classmates and help each other, as you’ll come across more difficult concepts. These courses are taught with hands on approaches so it’s easier to understand how equipment works when working with hardware and software components in different situations. In almost every course, you’ll learn how to work with new operating systems or software that can be added to your resume. Some of the courses might feel heavier than others, but I will say that the professors are approachable and are willing to help their students.
How is the academic experience? How does it compare to your previous educational experience?
I expected my transition to be tough coming from a community college to Illinois Tech, but I’ve learned it takes the right amount of self-discipline and commitment to have a successful semester. I wasn’t a strong student at my previous college, but before enrolling at Illinois Tech I made changes and set goals, so that I could fully apply myself as a student. I am doing well and I enjoy it.
How is campus life? What do you like to do?
I’m a commuter student, but I spend most of the day on campus through the week either in class, working in Perlstein Hall, or meeting with fellow members from student organizations. There’s almost always an event or meeting going on around campus so there is always something to do.
Thinking about the resources provided to you by your Department (labs, faculty, networking and career events, competitions), what do you find most valuable and why?
It’s difficult to narrow it down to one specific resource because I value all of them. I find all the resources valuable. I’ve learned so much from events like lunch-and-learns provided by our department, industry based career fairs, professional development workshops, project presentations, lab show-cases, and so much more that give the opportunity to connect with other students and faculty.
Definitely, whether it’s from Career services, Jobs-4-Hawks portal, or our department coordinators, we are always presented with job openings and opportunity to come in for resume review and critiques. Our ITM newsletter lists several job opportunities and shares the upcoming workshops.
What were your concerns about coming to Illinois Tech?
My biggest concern as a transfer student was being able to find a place within the student community where I would fit in. I joined SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) my first semester and I am happy to admit that was one of the best decisions I’ve made here as a student. Doing so, I get to be surrounded by motivated individuals in the STEM field, many of whom I consider my mentors.
Do/did you have an on-campus job? If so, what?
I am a Student Administrative Assistant in the ITM Office in Perlstein Hall.
What type of projects or innovation have you done while at Illinois Tech?
For the most part, I’ve worked on development projects in my courses such as creating Java programs, as well as working on web development projects with mark-up languages like HTML and CSS, scripting languages like JS, and version control systems like Git.
What is your proudest moment as a student?
My proudest moment was making it on the Dean’s list my first semester here. I stayed true to my word that I can remain focused as a student, with all of the additional workload I committed to.
If I could do 1 thing over again it would be.
Though I don’t have regrets, I wish I had done more research on majors in high school so that I knew about Illinois Tech’s Information Technology and Management options earlier. I didn’t come to a decision with my major until after my first two years in college.
What is the biggest challenge you faced as a student?
My biggest challenge is finding a balance between student life and my personal life. With a busy schedule, it’s a little more difficult to arrange quality time with family and friends.
What do you want to do when you graduate?
When I graduate I hope that I’ve fully prepared myself with enough knowledge and experience to start work as a security analyst.
Advice for other students:
When it comes time for career fairs, do your research and submit your applications before speaking with recruiters. On campus, definitely get involved in an organization that is relative to your major. Doing so will help you grow in many ways and become a stronger individual. Finally, go beyond your comfort zone and challenge yourself to try something new when given the opportunity!