Posts tagged as:

IT

I got confused just writing the title for this blog post, but it’s true: this is the last post I’ll be making for the first (blogging) week of a semester at Fontbonne!

Which, frankly, is crazy.

Then again, this semester will also be crazy, and I suspect I’ll be ready for the end when it comes.

(…Who am I kidding. I love Fontbonne, and I expect to be bawling when things start to wind down in May. I’m currently accepting donations for my Kleenex stash.)

The gen-ed Biology class I’ve successfully avoided for the past 3 years has now caught up with me, and Life Science is coming at me with a vengeance. (I knew I couldn’t evade it forever, but I thought I could at least try…) I’m also taking my last undergraduate Computer Science class, Operating Systems.

Then I’ve got two senior projects, one for my Applied Math major and one for my Computer Science major, which amounts to two 15-page papers and two “deliverables” besides the papers.

-For C.S., I’m making a device with a microcontroller that sits on top of a washing machine and sends a text message when the load is done.

-For Applied Math, I’m going to construct a mathematical model based on statistical study of the population migration out of Saint Louis City and into the County between 1950 and the present.

I’ll also be working as a Programming Intern at an area brewery, helping the Fontbonne IT department for a few hours a week, and doing a bit of cryptography research with the Computer Science department.

The semester has lots of work in store for me, but I consider myself really lucky: I get to take on some very neat things and work with some very neat people.

So as the semester is off and rolling, my final words of my last first blog of the semester are:

Good luck, everyone! Here we go!

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Elizabeth

Choosing a Major

by Elizabeth on February 21, 2012

in Academics,Career Paths

Howdy, readers!

I wanted to write a brief post about last week’s blog topic, choosing a major.

I had first approached this problem from the “Well, what subject do you like best in school?” angle, and that had initially led me to history.  I figured I could teach high school with it, and all would be well.  That was the plan – until I took “Intro to Classroom Teaching.”  I realized that as much as I like to think of myself as a patient person, I simply don’t have the attention span being a teacher requires.  That helped me realize I need a job that can keep me on my feet and moving around.

Up to this point, I had been working in the IT department at my high school (Rosati-Kain, if you’re curious).  When people asked where I worked, I would tell them and then bashfully add, “It doesn’t even feel like a job.” And I was serious. At first, I thought it didn’t feel like a job because I really liked my co-workers and former teachers, and I felt comfortable there, which certainly wouldn’t happen in my limited perception of a job. After failing at being a teacher, though, I rethought things. I realized that my part-time job doesn’t feel like a job because I genuinely enjoy what I do when I’m at work – fixing printers, crawling under desks to plug Ethernet cables back into their switches, rearranging wires in the server cabinet, installing wireless access points here and there, maintaining existing equipment, I could go on and on. The variety of tasks that I get presented with every day I go in keeps me interested and there’s a huge element of challenge that comes with the job.

So, to figure out what I need to major in in order to have get a job in an IT department, I looked at job-openings results on different Saint Louis companies’ websites to see what institutions look at when they’re hiring IT people. Generally, it’s some kind of computer-science or information-management degree, and I decided to go with computer science. I’m getting into some upper level classes now, and I really like what I’m learning.

My advice: Experiment to figure out what you like and what you don’t like. I was lucky enough to have taken that teacher course relatively early on in my time at Fontbonne, and it was a real wake-up call that I was headed in the wrong direction by pursuing teaching as a career. Experimenting as a worker in the IT department at my high school was a another message, one that helped me know I’m on the path to what I think will be an enjoyable career.

So, with that, I wish you good luck in picking a major!

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