How did you find the iSchool?
I had no idea I wanted to be in the iSchool. I got denied from another school at SU – that’s how I ended up here. But it was the best experience because I love where I am. I feel comfortable. As a freshman, I was scared and you don’t know what the next four years are going to look like. Now, I don’t want to leave. I am going to miss it.
How did you hear about Syracuse University?
I knew about SU because of Newhouse. In high school, I took a broadcast journalism class and fell in love with the idea of being on TV. Newhouse brought me to SU and I came to visit and loved it.
But it was a hard choice because at the end of the day I had to decide if I wanted to go to a school where I didn’t get accepted into my dream major versus the ones where I did. I felt so strongly connected to the campus that it didn’t matter what major I was in, I just knew I needed to be here.
How was your experience transitioning into college?
I love comfort so it threw me off to start over. Getting involved made the difference of feeling comfortable. Find your people. It’s a weird time but also the most rewarding period of personal growth. The college has taught me to unapologetically be myself.
I had no idea what this degree [IM&T] was. My high school was strict. Four years ago, I wanted to be on TV and was stuck in that mindset. Growing up, you can get “siloed” into a career based on your environment.
Not getting into my dream school was the best thing to happen to me. I found a degree of endless opportunity and a love for finance. College makes you realize anything is possible. You should not know what you want to do when you are 18.
Of course, it’s nice to have a job lined up. But that doesn’t take the pressure off. Every day, I know I need to prove myself regarding why I got the position and always say yes. And if you are willing, the opportunities will come. The worst that can happen would be you don’t like something.
What’s the most important skill you aquired in college?
Learning how to learn is hard. Tech is always changing. You are not going to know everything but you can have the attitude of wanting to learn and being a self-starter.
I can name Excel or Powerpoint, but everyone can do that. Being adaptable is a learned skill. One time I was handed a dataset with one million rows and was asked to do a VLOOKUP. I had no clue, but I decided to learn the skill myself.
Be the person who is open to learning, it will serve you forever. That’s why having a liberal arts background is great at SU, you learn how to learn to foster your professional skills.
Be the person who is open to learning, it will serve you forever. – Kristy Malley ’18
What do people misunderstand about the Information Management & Technology major?
This is where my peer advisor training comes in!
You’re learning technology but you aren’t learning how to build it. You use technology to solve real-world problems. Understanding at a high level how it works. You serve as a liaison between a business and the hardcore tech people.
The great thing is you are a translator for these companies and you quickly learn how marketable you are; everyone wants you. There is not an industry without technology. Whatever your passion is, you can blend it with tech.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am going to be working for EY! The opportunity for a career path came after my internship this past summer which has been a blessing. There are endless opportunities for internships here.
Any advice for college students?
Don’t be scared, go up to the recruiters as a freshman. Learn how to sell yourself in a way that highlights what you do well. As a freshman, you don’t have as many skills. But what you do have, you can do well. Learn how to market yourself at a young age. Once you get your foot in the door, it all comes easier afterward.