A Californian, a hedgehog-lover, or a passionate peer advisor: when it comes to senior Morgan Lyons, she has a contagious, positive energy. Morgan has been a Student Editor at InfoSpace for the past 3 years. I sat down with her as she reflected with me (her co-editor) about her time here at Syracuse University, what it’s taught her, and where she will be headed.
Finding the Link Between Women and Tech
Lyons graduates this May with a degree in Information Management and Technology, a concentration in Digital Retail Strategies and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She claims this is the ‘girliest’ way to study technology. She joked that if she did not have to pay back student loans, her minor would be her major, but understands the importance of the tech industry. An avid feminist, Lyons understands she has a role to play when she enters the work force.
“I want to make sure the values I learn in my gender studies classes infiltrate the tech field, making sure men and women have equal rights, particularly women of color,” Lyons said. “Right now, there is celebration of women in the tech industry based on the fact it is so rare. That’s not how it should be. Every tech company should be working on this.” Lyons believes while she is able to represent her own ideas, she cannot represent everyone.
“I don’t want to be representation for all women because I am not all women. I’m just me. I want to make sure I leave space for other women,” Lyons said.
Why She Chose Syracuse
Lyons first heard of Syracuse University during her high school years when a recruiter from the Visual Performing Arts school came to Los Angeles to speak about the program. At the time, the school sounded perfect knowing art school sparked her interest. Her junior year of high school Lyons had a conversation that made her realize she wanted to go to a school that offered multiple options, rather than being pigeon-hold into one. Syracuse still fit the bill.
Regardless of what major she wished to pursue, she knew Syracuse had something. Applying as a magazine major, she selected several other options. Once accepted into the iSchool, she had no idea what exactly the degree entailed, nor did anyone in her close circle of resources. But one phone call changed her mind.
Stephanie Worden, the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Recruitment of the School of Information Studies, called Lyons to give her a personal perspective of the university. “It made me feel like I belonged somewhere. I knew they wanted me and there was no looking back after that,” Lyons said.
A Change of Plans
Being in college, Lyons weaved her way through her fair share of challenges. But it was not until she took a semester off during the fall of her junior year she had time to reflect. After being accepted to study abroad in Hong Kong, plans changed when Lyons got sick. Instead of preparing for a semester across the globe, she spent the next six months in her childhood home.
“With all my plans canceled, no job, no college, no friends home, that’s not how my life had been. Everything had always been a plan: what I was going to wear, do, see, eat, it had always been planned out,” Lyons said. “But all of a sudden, my decisions were not in my control.” During the time, Lyons claims she learned the meaning of what it was like to be grateful for the simple things.
“If I didn’t have that moment to learn the lessons of being thankful for the simple things, I don’t know where I would be today,” Lyons said. “As odd as it sounds, I am happy I got sick so it could teach me these things.” Her mom told her she was lucky for this to happen at this time in her life.
“At first I did not understand. Why now? But in a weird way, it came at a good time. I did not have a job, a career, or a spouse. I did not have too many attachments and was able to reflect,” she said. She did not know if she would return to Syracuse. Her parents wanted her closer to her home in California due to her illness. She became worried she would have to start her college career over.
“If it wasn’t for the unique degree the iSchool offers, I probably would have convinced myself that I could have found a comparable college,” Lyons said. But through the challenges, Lyons knows each day has taught her something new.
Where She’s Headed After Graduation
After months of applying to jobs all over the country, Lyons felt disheartened that she wouldn’t have a job by graduation. After 70 applications, multiple rejection letters, first round interviews that didn’t go anywhere, Sherwin-Williams saw her potential. As of a week ago, Morgan was hired to work in their Sales Development program in Maryland. She didn’t know it when she applied, but this was the perfect job for her.
“I love sales, selling, customers, the whole nine-yards. The more Sherwin Williams became interested in me the more I was interested in them! It may have taken a while, but it sure was the right fit for me.”
Morgan was hired as Student Editor in fall 2016 and was my first-ever student intern in September 2016. She then, Morgan has helped to publish over 250 InfoSpace blog posts and has authored over 27 posts. Her work helped thousands of readers read InfoSpace and discover more about the Syracuse University iSchool, and we were incredibly lucky to have her on our team.
Morgan particularly shined when writing about her passion: women in technology. In celebration of all her work on InfoSpace, here are my picks for Morgan’s best posts. – Katie Rook