In the process of choosing which college major would be the best for me, I was reminded of my seventh birthday … 

When I was younger I was a huge fan of wrestling.  I would sneak out my bedroom on Monday and Thursdays nights to watch RAW and Smackdown!  There was something about the Wrestlers that grabbed my attention and pulled me in.  My personal favorite is The Rock, or as he is better known in Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson. (He’ll always be The Rock to me).

On my seventh birthday, my mother gave me three gift options to choose from: The Rock’s customized championship belt, a Stone Cold Steve Austin action figure, or The Undertaker action figures.  I already had two versions of The Rock’s action figures so getting another Rock item would be excessive. Than again, he was (and still is) my favorite wrestler of all time. Ultimately, this was a tough choice to make for a seven year old wrestling fan.

In a way, that’s what every student has to go through while picking a major in college. There are over 100 majors offered at Syracuse University. It’s possible that the first major you pick to study isn’t the one for you, which is what happened to me.

“There are over 100 majors offered at Syracuse University. It’s possible that the first major you pick to study isn’t the one for you.”

I came to Syracuse as a Communications and Rhetorical Studies major in VPA. I had no idea what I was getting myself into with my major. Honestly, I was just excited to be on a college campus.

After my first semester, the joy of ‘just being on a college campus’ started to run out, and I started to get a good idea of what I wanted to do in the future. I found my passion for production/broadcasting and technology, which I turned into a dual major with The iSchool and Newhouse.  However, it’s tough transferring into different schools even as a SU student because you miss out on a lot during that first year. That’s why I’m giving you these tips, from one iSchool transfer student to another.

Take IST 195 During Your Freshman Year

One thing, that’s great about the iSchool is that you are allowed to take IST 195 even if you are not in the iSchool. It gives you an overview of everything that is technology. This course is your opportunity to see if you’re interested in the iSchool. Also, taking this course as a second semester freshman saves you from taking it as a sophomore and having to take more credits later on.

Side note: Taking IST 195 will be a benefit for you in today’s working world. Many struggle in the workforce by not knowing anything about technology. Technology is everywhere and now in almost everything, so taking IST 195 will show you all the possibilities that tech has to offer

Go to EuroTech or AsiaTech

I was fortunate enough to go to EuroTech this past summer and it was nothing short of amazing. For those who have just transferred in recently, you probably don’t know much about EuroTech, or it’s counterpart, AsiaTech. Advisors can also give you information on Eurotech as well!

EuroTech isn’t your normal study abroad experience. It’s actually a course (GET 486/687) that gives you the opportunity to visit international companies and learn more about how they use technology in their everyday business. But during that two-week experience, you also get to see ten beautiful cities in Europe. It’s the most undervalued trip that Syracuse offers and is well worth it.

Take Advantage of Every Opportunity

The iSchool provides so many opportunities for you to succeed. Whether that’s from student run organizations like BeIT and BLISTS(Black and Latino Information Studies Support) to the career fairs to the road trips, etc. Get involved as soon as you can and the benefits will come. I’m currently the vice president of BLISTS and it has been a great opportunity for me to network with iSchool alumni and learn about more about IT. One of my friends was given the opportunity to work for SIDEARM Sports and do exactly what he wanted to do in his life just by asking around. Through SIDEARM, he has been doing great things in web design.

Become a Peer Advisor

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Pay It Forward” that’s where being a peer advisor comes into play! Although I’m not a peer advisor, I would have loved to become one now that I’m graduating. As you continue majoring in the iSchool, you will always need some guidance on how to succeed. What better way to do that than having another student help you? That is the benefit of having peer advisors in the iSchool.

If you do decide to become a peer advisor, you are helping students and their families understand more of what The iSchool has to offer from your own perspective. Being a peer advisor can help pave the way for students that were once in your shoes.

Another side note: If your concentration is web design, you should take IST 523. For me, I enjoyed learning about HTML, CSS and even a little Java from scratch. In just one semester, I created a Netflix website and to this day, my father is still absolutely amazed at what I could do.

You’re a part of the iSchool now!

So with that, I want to be the first one to welcome you to the iSchool! Keep the iSchool name strong, do whatever it takes to get here, and learn from as many people as you can. From one transfer student to another: good luck!

Oh and before I forget, can you guess what I received for my seventh birthday? Well, I got The Rock’s customized championship belt!  And I just have to ask you one more thing, do you smell what The Rock is cooking?