Troy Davis, Janesville, Wisc.
Major: Computer and information technology (CIT) with a network engineering technology concentration, a certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation, and a minor in communications
Technology Student Ambassadors
Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), president
Business Professionals of America
Army National Guard (Sergeant E-5)
Assistant high school wrestling coach
Purdue Information Technology employee
The smartest people in the class are the ones asking questions. Our major is different and so diverse; we can do security, management or we can do network heavy jobs. We take the best of both worlds – information systems and network engineering — and let students dabble in both to see which track they want to go to. That flexibility is so nice, because information technology is a broad topic. To me, CIT is the technology part that no one ever sees; it’s the hidden part that helps the company operate. And we get to play with the cool toys.
When I was little, my brother took me to a LAN party. I got to see how that was set up and how people with similar interests can bond. I knew right away that this was for me. In every CIT class, there has been a team project. It’s fascinating how we get along naturally. We can get to know each other in an hour because of our shared interest.
Making a difference
I really want to learn the technical side of IT and then work 4-5 years as a technical engineer to get to know all of IT. Then, I want to go into management where I can make decisions that I would accept as a technician. I like understanding how it works, and it’s important to understand the technical side to advise others later in your career. I am interested in working for the government or in national security.
I haven’t taken a bad class yet, but I really like the wireless and network design part of our major. You learn something that you can use every day. I’ve modified my own router to get larger signals and stronger signal strength in my apartment. I can deploy virtual machines, basically a private network in my computer, on my own laptop. Now, I can test projects on my laptop on one of the virtual machines before I test it on a lab computer.
Jobs, jobs, jobs
Once I took a Web design class, I got a $15/hour job. I still get about five emails a week about computer jobs or part-time IT jobs. Those are beneficial while we are here and after we graduate. There are great opportunities for summer internships. This year I had 15 offers, last year I had eight, and even as a freshman I was able to find an internship. All of my internships have been paid ranging from $17 an hour to $40 an hour. My internships took me all over the country: from working as an engineer associate traveling to sites in the Wisconsin and the Chicago land area, to working in voice and video enterprise networks at USAA in San Antonio, Texas, to working for Microsoft in Seattle as a service engineer in Windows Live. The quality and knowledge of the internships offered to CIT students helped me land a full-time position back with Microsoft after graduation.