Meet Alan Nguyen ’19, a senior in Information Management and Technology who is on the fast track to receive a M.S. in Data Science. He hails from Alan, Texas.

Tell me about your passion.

I’m interested in technology infrastructure as well as IT infrastructure. Understanding how to use the data is also part of this pipeline as well.  A lot of the things I work on is based around the data pipeline process of storing and doing everything with that data in the cloud, then we analyze it to find useful information.

Alan in action.

[I chose to do the fast track because] my passion really lies in data analysis. I didn’t get a chance to dive into that in undergrad, so I wanted to focus it on the master’s level. That’s what led me to do the 4+1 program.

Why did you choose Syracuse University?

I initially chose SU because of the policy studies program. I started off as an Arts and Sciences major, then transitioned as a sophomore into the iSchool. It was an initial choice of doing something more on the policy side, but then in my heart, I’ve always done something with technology. I did android development and stuff like that.

I was introduced to an [iSchool] peer advisor in a writing class, and I transitioned over because they essentially said the iSchool had a mixture of everything.

Alan Nguyen ’19.

What are some of the biggest lessons the iSchool taught you?

We’re never short of opportunities here. There’s everything from your own technology development, we have a three-level iSchool support that’s really taught me a lot of lessons about business. At the same time, I’ve also had a chance to work with non-profit opportunities, because we have a huge research section.

What are some of the best experiences you’ve had at college?

Some of the best experiences I’ve had are the immersion programs we have here. I’ve participated in both Spring Break in Silicon Valley as well as Peak2Peak. Being able to put yourself in those professional environments, and learning about start-up culture and large corporate culture, is one of the best experiences.

I’m also part of a Graduate organization called Worldwide Innovation Technology, or WiTec. Essentially, in that organization, we deal with cutting edge wireless, blockchain, and Internet of Things technology. They’ve really taught you to branch out and work with government entities. Like I had the chance to intern with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). It’s great, you really get to see how people branch themselves out in their field.

If given the opportunity, would you do anything differently?

I really didn’t get to study abroad! That was a huge miss for me. I was spending so much time doing opportunities here that I didn’t miss that. I felt like there was a lot of project management classes. If anything, I would have also branched myself out to minor in anything as well. Focusing and centralizing yourself in technology is great. But doing finance, communications, marketing, or even policy studies would be great. You can find technology everywhere.

What are you planning to do after graduation before continuing grad school?

I’m actually interning at a data pipeline community called Splunk. Something that they do is they pretty much embrace the idea of data chaos, where you take data and make it useful. After I graduate with my master’s, I really want to do something with data analysis. I’m halfway there, since Splunk does that with doing business intelligence software too.

I was in Silicon Valley for spring break, and I decided I really want to move out in the California/San Francisco area. It seems like a wonderful place, wonderful weather, and like a nice place to work.

What do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered as someone who was a heavy community engager. Or someone who was a large part of the community. Anything from technical support to peer advising, I want to be remembered as the person who tried to help everyone.