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Maa Akua Osei

Accra, Ghana
Information Technology and Management
Yet to be decided
Graduation Year
May 2018 (Anticipated)

Maa Akua Osei

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Why did you come to Illinois Tech?

I have friends who are alumni of Illinois Institute of Technology who highly recommended this school. They talked about how much they felt prepared for their career after graduation and how the campus atmosphere and classes challenge you to excel. And of course, a good scholarship opportunity to help me pay for my tuition.

Why did you choose your major and specialization?

I have always been fascinated with different software and how one can literally solve a problem by just using a computer software or program.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Illinois Tech?

My favorite thing about this campus is the “man on the bench”. Hahaha!!! just joking. Even though I find him intriguing, he isn't my only favorite thing on campus. I find the campus offices one of my favorite things on campus. The people working at the various departments on campus are all so helpful and go over and beyond to help with school related issues.

How has Illinois Tech helped you?

Illinois Tech has really helped me dream bigger and look at the future with much more optimism. I really feel anything is achievable and I couldn't have chosen a better school to help prepare me for the future.

How are the courses like? How do they help you? (Prepare for jobs/career)

Courses at Illinois Tech help a lot in preparing for your career. I like that there are many course options. I came to Illinois Tech with no IT background but after this short period of time, I have learned a lot and my enthusiasm for the future has increased.

How is the academic experience? How does it compare to your previous educational experience?

My academic experience at Illinois Tech is very different from my previous school. I came from a four year college from a different state. I immediately saw a difference. Illinois Tech has me thinking much more about my future and is helping determine what I really want to do. I believe the Information Technology and Management Program gives you clear options on what you can be while in my previous school, it was hard to really know what you could be because the curriculum was not that well defined. In addition, there are many specializations which offers many options.

How is campus life? What do you like to do?

Campus life in IIT is quite amazing and there are a lot of organizations that one can get involved in. There are organizations that help you to connect with people in the same or similar majors. I am a member of NSBE and SWE and I participate in on-campus activities and have attended two of their conferences. I am very impressed with how campus life and these organizations help you on your career path.

Career placement/assistance?

The weekly Newsletter by the ITM Department helps a lot in presenting the students with opportunities. The Newsletter list jobs for students from several companies like Google, Microsoft, KPMG and others. The Illinois Tech Jobs4Hawks website and job fairs are also good resources for job search.

What were your concerns about coming to Illinois Tech?

I moved here from North Carolina and was scared of the city life. I was also a bit worried about how the transition process will be. Thankfully it has it worked out.

Do/did you have an on-campus job? If so, what?

I am currently a Student Assistant at the Information Technology and Management Department.

What type of projects or innovation have you done while at Illinois Tech?

I am working on an Interprofessional (IPRO) project which involves designing a storage and inventory program for an organization in Costa Rica. This organization takes care of children in poor communities.

What is your proudest moment as a student?

When I hear students from our school achieving a lot and winning competitions, I feel very proud to be part of such a school that produces amazing people.

If I could do 1 thing over again it would be.

I would choose to start my education in Information Technology and Management at Illinois Tech.

What is the biggest challenge you faced as a student?

Sometimes balancing school and work has been the struggle but I try to see the bigger picture and look into the future. I realize my education challenges me but will help in the future.

What do you want to do when you graduate?

I want to be part of a company that is changing the world through technology.

Advice for other students:

Take every opportunity that Illinois Tech gives you and use this time to improve on yourself.

SmartLab Student Projects

As an Information Technology student and a person very much interested in Art, it was easy for me to be hooked by Digital Art. Project Aura was an idea that stemmed from my passion for Technology and Art.

The purpose of this project is to improve the current state of security devices. Today, most security companies use several guards for different tasks, but at least one guard has to monitor the cameras or other systems.

A smart mirror is a two-way mirror with an electronic display behind the glass. The display can show the viewer different kinds of information in the form of widgets, such as weather, time, date, and news updates.

Our team was given the task of develop an electronic prototype covering the elements learned in the Embedded Systems course. These elements are electricity, data collection, data transmission, and data presentation. To do this, we created an electronic version of the board game Go.

EcoTower takes Hydroponic farming to the next level by using technology to self-regulate plant growth. Hydroponics is the science of giving a plant the necessities for growth and longevity.