After watching her sister graduate from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, Alyssa Berardino knew she wanted to follow the same path and enrolled at the iSchool in 2018.

“My older sister, Alexis, has always been my role model,” Berardino said. “After watching her succeed and graduate with a full-time job offer, I knew the iSchool would be a place that would help me find where I wanted to end up.”

That decision paid off when Berardino graduated from the iSchool in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in information technology and management and accepted a job as a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York City. 

In her current role, she works within multi-asset solutions and specializes in portfolio construction. Berardino is part of a team that develops a buy-side OMS [order management system], which provides the ability to optimize, trade and view portfolios in real time, while simultaneously researching new technologies to support more than 900 portfolio managers and $3 trillion in investments. 

“I have always had a huge respect and admiration for developers. It really is like learning a new language,” she said. “When the opportunity aligned, I knew it was something I had to at least try. The past year and a half has been consistent learning and overcoming imposter syndrome, but my team and coworkers make the day-to-day work something I genuinely look forward to.”

At Syracuse, Berardino was intrigued by the coding classes that focused on Python, R and SQL, and she wanted to learn more. She enrolled in the Tech Connect Program offered by JPMorgan, which allows candidates who do not have a background in computer science or coding to join a 12-week bootcamp that teaches them to read, write and understand basic Java.

“Reflecting on the time when I didn’t know how to open an app through a command line to now rolling out features that impact our clients is a rewarding moment,” she said. “All of the work I’ve done in the past year is meaningful to me because I can see the growth I’ve made over the course of the past 18 months.”

Berardino plans to continue growing in the field of software development and says the progress she has made so far only excites her more to see what is ahead. She credits the iSchool with helping her feel comfortable in her career path. 

“Many of the classes I took were group and presentation based, which I think helped prepare me the most,” she said. “It is so important to be able to articulate yourself in a work setting, whether that be a one-on-one conversation or giving a demo to a group of clients.”

Being involved on campus also helped prepare Berardino for her career. At Syracuse, she was part of Greek Life, peer advising, being a teaching assistant and working on campus. She sought out similar opportunities at JPMorgan and is part of the Manhattan Tech Center Community Building Team and helps host welcome events, volunteer days and social events. 

She is also a co-lead for JPMorgan’s SEP [Software Engineer Program] Engagement Team, which hosts monthly events such as lunches, outings to museums and other networking events. If she could offer any advice to Syracuse students, Berardino would encourage them to ask questions, get involved and know that people will support you.

“Take advantage of what the iSchool has to offer, such as going on immersion trips, the weekend trips, volunteering for giving tours, etc.,” she said. “During my time at Syracuse, I went on the TechTrek Chicago immersion trip. By visiting these different companies, it helped me determine that I wanted to apply to companies that were larger, rather than something like a start-up.”

Looking back on those experiences, Berardino says she is glad she followed in her older sister’s footsteps and decided to study at the iSchool.

“Syracuse has given me so much, and I am forever grateful to be an alum,” she said. “Go Orange!”