When I first walked into the iSchool almost 3 years ago, little did I know just how much my life would change. Finding a community of diverse and motivated individuals from around the world gave me a new perspective on the possibilities and opportunities that the information technology world presents … some a little more unconventional than others.

Ethan Tyo Plantbased_Alien Instagram Post

Another successful batch of my Juice and my friends already cleared it out !

Three years later, I am the creator of @Plantbased_Alien, an Instagram-based food blog centered around healthy plant-based food, recipes, products, and lifestyle tips as I document my journey to health and wellness. Little did I know just how beneficial the coursework I have experienced in the iSchool would help me build this unconventional passion into a reality.

From my experience, Syracuse University’s iSchool is like no other; innovative, creative, and strongly committed to giving its students abundant opportunities to utilize their knowledge and skills gained over the course of the curriculum. With such a variety of courses focusing on everything form network security, to graphic design and social media strategies, each student finds their niche just like I have.

I am an Information Management and Technology major with a minor in Global Enterprise Technologies. Now, you may be wondering how any of that relates to my food blog, but I was pretty surprised myself when I looked back at my studies and realized the connections.

Taking IST 486: Social Media in the Enterprise

I took this course my sophomore fall semester, when I had little understanding of social media. Over the semester, I studied all aspects of social media, from marketing to analytics, and I even learned about a future in social media from well established professionals.

Focus on communication and writing skills for the work environment

From taking various courses, I learned valuable skills that have allowed me to share and express my story as well as communicate my passion and values to an audience. IST 444, Information Reporting and Presentation, helped me overcome my fear of public speaking and gave me useful skills on presenting a topic or discussion effectively. Since then, I now have the confidence to take on guest presentations and speaking opportunities that I would have otherwise refused.

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Understanding social data and analytics

To understand information, and especially social media, analytical skills are extremely useful for marketing, promoting, and growing through the Internet. GET 236 and GET 336, Enterprise Data Analysis, developed my analytical thinking and reporting skills as I worked with real data and situations to effectively manipulate and report on data in an enterprise setting. Having these valuable research and analytical skills can apply to many different careers and settings, including social media.

Ethan Tyo Venice TBT EuroTech

#tbt to spending the day walking around #Venice, #Italy …. And as today happens to be Thanksgiving, I am #thankful for the unforgettable opportunities that I have been given in my life.

Experience studying abroad

Probably the biggest influence from my time here at the iSchool has been my global experiences. Incorporated into the required iSchool curriculum is a global experience to achieve a global perspective of the information field, whether it’s from studying abroad, short term programs, internships, or  coursework. I took part in the iSchool’s EuroTech program as well as a semester abroad in London.

EuroTech was a cross-continental European journey, visiting several multi-national corporations to learn and experience global enterprise technologies in real-world settings. On this short-term trip, I got to visit some of the more established corporations and research facilities in the world all while learning and networking with professionals across many fields of study. EuroTech showed me the unlimited possibilities in which an iSchool degree can help you achieve your dream career.

While each of these classes vary immensely on their topics, each one has played a role in me getting to where I am today and finding and building my passion into a career. Along the way I have met some of the most inspiring and influential people that have all helped and guided me in the right direction at every barrier I hit.

Now as I step into my last year here at Syracuse University, I hope to take every opportunity I have been given, and every lesson I have learned, to step out into the real world with the skills and mindset to professionally establish myself and continue to build and further my passion and effort to inspire people towards a healthier and sustainable lifestyle through real food.

In February, Ethan was featured in a “Meet Monday” by the Daily Orange, the student-run Syracuse University newspaper.

Want to Follow Ethan on Instagram? Follow his journey here: @plantbased_alien