How did you find Syracuse University?
I’m from Brooklyn, NY and in high school my guidance counselor told me about It Girls. When I went to It Girls I really enjoyed it. Everyone was so fun and outgoing!
I had visited other colleges before but none of them were like Syracuse. It definitely influenced my choice for coming here along with the opportunities available here and the atmosphere overall.
Did you want to go into technology in high school?
No actually, I didn’t know what I wanted to do at all. I didn’t know how interested I would be in technology. When I heard there was coding I thought it would be just a class learning about the logic of coding. I didn’t realize it was actual hands-on coding!
Once I got a grasp of everything I really fell in love with it. I thought it was awesome.
What are your favorite classes you’ve taken?
I think my favorite classes correlated with my favorite professors. My favorite classes were Python (IST 256) and SQL Database (IST 359) with Deb Nosky. I think Deb Nosky is one of the best professors in the iSchool. She really cares about each of her students.
What are you up to after graduation?
After my undergrad, I went for my masters (which I’m doing now) in Applied Data Science. I’m enjoying it but I think I might take it a different route. I’m thinking about doing product management rather than data science. But this background and education will really help me with that.
I also have a job lined up after I graduate with my masters at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) which I start in September. So during the summer I might do another internship or travel to the Dominican Republic – where I’m from!
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s at the iSchool?
I felt like I wasn’t ready and that I needed something more. This graduate program helps you go more into logical thinking and coding is really helping me pursue what I want to do.
When I graduated, thinking about going straight from my senior year to going straight into work, I felt I wasn’t ready. I’m much more prepared now then I was before. Also having the opportunity to obtain so many internships like first data, EY, and PwC. All that experience helped me become a better employee.
The graduate program is only a year (Editor’s note: Rosaly is taking her program in the Fast Track format) and it goes by fast – but warning, it is really hard! Especially with working at the iSchool as well.
That’s right! You work at the iSchool, too. What’s your job?
My official title is Office Coordinator for Technology Services. I make sure that all the old technology that we have at the iSchool is either sold or recycled. Or I’m usually helping faculty with IT problems.
We’re also setting up a system in place for lending out equipment. When I used to work in iLab, we would have just a paper sheet that people would fill out. For a school based around technology, that system was too outdated. SoI’m also helping with out with building that system.
I basically help with technical issues, office coordination, and selling and recycling of old technology.
What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
I’m the kind of person that can’t just be a student while in school. I always need to be a part of a ton of different things. I had to be active and involved whether it was dancing (I love to dance) or finding new music.
But something I would definitely tell myself is to slow down. I would go visit friends and they would only see me with my computer. At one point they had to take it away from me to give me a break!
I’m also still the president of the It Girls Alumnae group, so I’m constantly trying to stay up to date and in contact with people.
My biggest pieces of advice are:
- Sleep is important. You can’t stay up until 4:00 a.m. doing homework. Which is something I’m learning to do.
- Eating healthy. I think that’s something a lot of students take for granted. I think I’m the only one out of my friends that eats vegetables! Just try to take care of yourself.
What skills have you gained from the iSchool?
Communication, 100%. I didn’t have that skill coming in.
One of my first classes was a presentation class, and I was the only freshman in a room full of juniors and seniors. I was so nervous, I tried memorizing every word. The person who helped me with public speaking as well was Stephanie Worden when I had to present for It Girls.
But doing a lot of different activities helped me practice and communicate with different types of people. Even with coding, there’s a stereotype that we don’t know how to communicate because we’re just coding. But because I know to how to communicate, it will help me ask the right questions.
The other skill I learned here is coding. I think it opened up a lot of opportunities for me. When I go for internships, they ask me if I code and they love that. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not perfect at it. But there’s always room for improvement and I think that’s the case for any skill set.
You’re only going to be just ‘ok’ if you don’t practice. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
What are some of your best experiences here at SU?
I think the different ways people think and develop ideas here is really interesting and diverse.
When growing up, you’re part of a bubble. But when you get here, you hear so many different perspectives and viewpoints. I had to learn how to be myself in an environment that is so different. I’m Dominican so I grew up knowing that culture, but it was great to see different types of diversity on the campus in more ways than one.
When a person isn’t like you, try to get to know them. They may think very differently from you and it’s up to you to figure out why and what you can do with those outlooks.