Steven Simons is a senior majoring in Information Management and Technology from Boston, MA.
How did you find out about the iSchool?
My guidance counselor in high school approached me and said they thought I wanted to go somewhere far from home. I’m originally from Boston, so I didn’t want to go to school there. All my friends go to more local colleges, and I knew I wanted something different.
When I started here, I started off in the engineering school, but it ended up not being a good match for me. Some of my friends said that I should really check out the iSchool. I haven’t looked back since.
Why was the transition within SU a good one?
For me, the reason I wanted to come to a school like Syracuse was because of all the options. I didn’t end up liking my first choice, but I was able to find something else. At the iSchool, your degree allows you to go into some many different career paths, which is unique.
Plans after graduation?
I’m going back to Boston and will be working at Fidelity as a software engineer in artificial intelligence. I interned there last summer, but I kept my options open at the start of this year.
I went on other interviews, but it came down to where I wanted to be located and what I felt was the best fit. Overall, I felt the most comfortable with the team I am with. They all seem way smarter than me, but that means I can learn the most, too.
I walked in my first day over the summer and I was supposed to be a summer analyst intern, and my boss thought I wouldn’t like that area. He put me with the intense coders, and I thought “there goes my summer.”
What’s great about the iSchool?
They give you the means to learn. They don’t give you the mastery of the skills – you have to figure out your own path. I’ve done the MLB challenge three times, gone on EuroTech, I’m a peer advisor, and worked at SIDEARM Sports, all of which I loved.
I applied to work at Twitter as a software engineer. Part of their application process was a coding test. They sent this test as an email and I was given 12 hours to finish it. I tried to fight through the process for three hours, but then had a moment to realize: maybe this is not for me. I took a step back and realized I have lots to learn.
What will the transition be like after college?
I would consider myself to be a pretty independent person. At the end of the day, you have to accept it’s your time to move forward and move on. Next year, you will be working in an office and your friends still might be here. You have to move forward, we will all get to that stage. I’m sitting here realizing I have three weeks left … it’s crazy.
I want to be remembered as someone who had an influence on others, and come back and see people I know and be happy. I feel like I fit in here, and I want everyone to feel the same way I did.
Three words to sum up your college experience?
“Too much Chipotle.”