Gracie Guilette ’24
It was the summer before her senior year in high school that Gracie Guilette was invited to participate in the IT Girls program offered by Syracuse University’s iSchool. Hailing from Wisconsin, she was mixing with peers from all around the country, at a school that she had never even really known about, in Central New York. For Guilette, this experience served as a chance to explore a new part of the country, tour a prestigious college campus, and most importantly, become oriented in a space that she wanted to build a future.
While in high school, Guilette was deeply influenced by the Women in Technology (WIT) organization in Wisconsin. Her work with WIT, and the powerful women that she interacted with through the program, inspired her to pursue a future in tech. Having been leaning towards a dual education in business and technology, the IT Girls experience helped crystallize her goals, and determine the school that would help her to achieve them. IT Girls really exposed to Guilette how broadly the information technology industry reaches, and just how many different directions this career path could take her.
Guilette had taken a number of computer science classes before attending college, and she maintains a sense of gratitude for those teachers that helped to ignite her passion for technology. As a result, her early interest in technology was even further fueled by the wide-ranging resources available at a college like the School of Information Studies. The early exposure and encouragement around technology had paved the way to her future in information.
During her senior year in Wisconsin, she was able to leverage her interests in sports and business to land a gig managing gameday promotions and fan-engagement with the Green Bay Packers. For each home game, Guilette would show up to Lambeau Field, and from down on the turf she would facilitate giveaways, autographs, and manage the halftime events and small entertainment interludes. The job was a lot of fun and revealed to her how much hard work and pressure is actually involved with delivering a huge event like an NFL game.
Since beginning her studies at Syracuse University, Guilette always had the intention of having one major in the Whitman school and another in the iSchool. She has settled on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in both finance and applied data analytics. This combination of disciplines falls into the broader, and booming, field called FinTech.
Soon after enrolling in her coursework, Guilette also became involved with an organization called The Women’s Network. While she was isolated in Wisconsin taking online classes during the pandemic, she enjoyed the virtual meetings of The Women’s Network before she was able to return to campus. Even just the social aspect was filling the void she felt from being physically removed from the ‘college experience’. When finally returning to campus, she was excited to get involved with the organization in a more hands-on capacity.
She worked with their marketing committee and as an IT consultant. The experience provided a lot of useful insight about how to best nurture her own future as a professional, and she learned a lot by being on such technical and solution-oriented teams.
Guilette chose data analytics as a major because she always enjoyed coding, but more than that she saw the career potential that the field had to offer and knew that a track in data analytics would provide the dynamic education that a future in technology requires. When speaking about choosing the program at the iSchool, she says, “There is so much potential opportunity and knowledge that can be found out through data. With technology innovating and changing as quickly as it does, it is an incredibly important commodity to understand. Coming to the iSchool has been an amazing opportunity because many schools do not have a major as niche as applied data analytics.”
On-track to graduate in 2024, Guilette has her sights set on a career in FinTech. Whether her future will be in financial analytics, or database management for financials, or creating financial programs for businesses, she is not sure, but she knows that there are a lot of different directions she could go with her dual major. “The faculty and professors of the iSchool are willing to do so much for me. It is an amazing community to be a part of. They genuinely want me to succeed in not only my academic studies and career but life as a whole. I always know I can lean on them whenever I need it.”, says Guilette. She also notes how she just plain likes hanging around the iSchool more than other parts of campus. It has great energy, and diversity. There is always an air of innovation floating through the hall. Guilette truly believes that the iSchool is Syracuse’s best kept secret.