We asked iSchool Seniors to reflect back on their time at the iSchool before they graduate. Here’s the third and final blog of featuring a member of the iSchool’s Class of 2017.

Chris Whelan

Hometown: Baldwinsville, New York
Major: Information Management & Technology


What was your initial reaction coming to the iSchool as a Freshman?

I actually transferred here to the iSchool from a local community college, but my initial reaction was just pure excitement.

I walked around the building and was just amazed at everything that was going on. Students presenting work in the classroom. The ICE box had collaboration between students going on, NEXIS where students were working on the newest technology, and advertisements all over the school of future student events and trips. I couldn’t believe how many opportunities there were. It was in that moment that I knew that coming here was the best decision of my life.

I couldn’t believe how much was going and how many opportunities there was here. It was in that moment that I knew that coming here was the best decision of my life.

If you could describe the iSchool in one sentence, what would you say?

A place where you can be part of a community of individuals past, present, and future who share the same interests and passions as you.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on heading down to North Carolina to intern at Fidelity Investments as a Systems Analyst for the summer. Once the internship is over I will be back here at the iSchool to begin working on getting my Master’s in Information Management and Technology.

Is IT a future you always saw yourself in?

I always have had a passion for technology and anything that involved it. However, I didn’t always think I had a future in it. As I got older though and was exposed to more of how much it influenced business I knew that a future in IT was for me. I saw that to have an understanding of business and technology you could have a lot of opportunities in your future. This was a huge reason why I chose the iSchool because it offered that perfect balance of knowledge in business and technology.

What is one thing you wish someone told you during your time at the iSchool?

One thing I wish someone had told me about the iSchool is how much it will change me for the better and offer me opportunities I would have never dreamed of having. I have met with some amazing alumni, become extremely involved volunteering at the iSchool, have had interview opportunities with some of the nation’s largest technology companies. I traveled to NYC with classmates to meet with industry leaders and see how technology influences their business and witnessed some memorable moments at the Carrier Dome. These are just a few of the great things I have been a part of in my time here but I am happy no one told me about all this. To describe it would not do it justice. It is something that everyone has to experience on their own.

What advice would you give to the incoming senior class?

My advice to you entering your senior year is to just enjoy your senior year to the fullest. If there is anything that you haven’t done at Syracuse, this is your final chance so just do it.

The other piece of advice I could give is to not forget your transition from freshman to senior year. Take advantage of this experience that you have had and pass it on to those going through it right now. Your advice is valuable and can really help those maneuvering just as you did.

What advice would you give to the incoming freshman class?

Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and go outside of your comfort zone; it is only through this that you will truly have a great iSchool experience. You should join some student organizations to get to know your fellow peers. Take advantage of things offered by the iSchool such as the road trips and compete in the MLB challenge; these are one-of-a-kind experiences. One of the best things you can do is network and make connections with your peers, One of the best things you can do is network and make connections with your peers, faculty, and alumni.

My last piece of advice would be to not worry if you don’t know exactly what you want to do as career right when you get here a lot of us never knew. However sometime during your academic career, you will have a moment in one of your classes that will spark a passion inside of you. When that happens, embrace it and run with it.

What’s your favorite thing about the iSchool?

My favorite thing about the iSchool is the closeness of the iSchool community. It is almost like being part of a big family. You are surrounded by people who have similar interests and passions. The faculty all want nothing more than to see you succeed and as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort they will gladly help you.

By the time that you are a senior at the iSchool, you will not be able to walk the halls without running into someone that will say hello, ask how you’re doing or what you have been up to.