What factors led you to pursue a career in IT?
I realized early on that I love computers and programming. I figured why not do something I love for a living.
Did you participate in internships?
I did an internship each summer I was at Purdue.
I was lucky enough to intern at Guidant (now Boston Scientific) at the end of my freshman year. They make implantable heart devices and I thought the mission to save lives was pretty cool. I developed a metadata repository for a data warehouse to help analysts understand product reliability. It was a great experience and I enjoyed Minneapolis.
GE Healthcare – I was working on the enterprise sales portal. There is a daily build that incorporates all the code changes from around the world. It was having a lot of failures and my job was to improve the build process.
Eli Lilly – my last internship opened my eyes to life sciences research. My job was to identify the best probeset for each gene on the microarray chips Lilly used to understand diseases like cancer, diabetes, and depression. It was deep science!
Thankfully I had taken a few relevant classes at Purdue. I loved it and have been working on this kind of problem ever since.
Did you participate in Study Abroad?
I wish I did. It would have further enriched my experience.
What advice would you give to current or prospective CIT students?
Follow your passion and don’t be afraid to pursue it (Guidant gave me the internship because I asked, even though they, like other companies, “don’t hire freshmen”). We spend most of our life at work. It helps if you enjoy what you do.