BA Computer Science and Psychology, 2012
MS Computer science, 2013
Business Solutions Delivery Analyst
I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Psychology at Iona College in May of 2012. In the spring semester of my Junior year at Iona, I decided to apply for several internship opportunities through the help of the Computer Science department faculty. I accepted an internship with IBM as a Business Analyst. After one year, I accepted a supplemental full-time position in the same department that I interned in. In my job role, I developed user stories, created test cases and served as a lead tester, executing test plans for a major financial system called ICFS and the Seller’s International Workbench application. I also acted as an IT-Business liaison, capturing and translating requirements between IBM business user groups and IT application developers.
In the beginning of my full-time role at IBM, I decided that it would be in my best interest to pursue my Master’s in Computer Science at Iona College, so I joined the 5 year Master’s program in Computer Science. Although I joined the program late, the Computer Science faculty was incredibly flexible and more than willing to help guide me in the right direction and outline a plan in order for me to complete my Master’s in the amount of time that I had left in the program. I earned my Master’s degree in Computer Science in August of 2013, and I continued to work at IBM until June of 2014. I went on to pursue a more technical career opportunity at PepsiCo, where not only can I apply my business analyst skills that I developed at Iona and IBM, but I also work as a developer for both front end and back end applications (including iOS development that I learned from Dr. Ivanov in the iPhone class). This hybrid role has been a new and exciting experience for me and I look forward to my future here at PepsiCo.
My education at Iona College has, without a doubt, prepared me extremely well for my career path that I have chosen to take. Throughout my time at Iona, I was unsure about what exactly I’d want to do career-wise with Computer Science. The good news is: there are plenty of options. I found that it was extremely beneficial to expose myself to a variety of different courses to gain a well-rounded education in areas that I could potentially pursue in my career. I also have realized in my new job role how much I love and have missed coding, since I was not in a development role prior to PepsiCo, and I had been out of school for a while and was not coding anymore. I encourage students to get a solid foundation of a broad range of Computer Science classes while in school so that they can discover where their passion is. I also encourage students to ABSOLUTELY take advantage of the internship opportunities as an undergrad. It is no doubt in my mind that my internship at IBM put my foot in the door to get me started on my career path, and I do not know where I would be today without that internship experience. I know now more than ever that it is okay to not know right away what exactly you want to do as a career, but you have to actually get out there in the real world and see what it has to offer in order to find what you like, and equally as important, what you don’t like. I am grateful for my experience at Iona College and the great faculty members that I have worked with throughout the years.