As Purdue Polytechnic’s May 2017 graduates move into their careers, we are profiling a few and finding out their future plans and how they arrived at this point in their lives.
Miranda Lung, Lafayette, Indiana
Technology Analyst Program with JPMorgan Chase in Chicago, IL
Bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Technology and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The tech analyst program is a two-year program where I’ll receive on-the-job training and be placed into one of JPMC’s many development and engineering teams. Past TAP participants have worked on everything from system infrastructure to software development. One of the thrills of working for such an immense company is knowing that anything I work on will touch millions of users!
Purdue classes that helped Miranda prepare for her job
I benefitted immensely from CNIT 242 (System Administration), where my lab partners and I learned how to solve a variety of tech problems independently. We were given guidance and goals, but this class taught us how to take initiative and how to find the resources we need to solve problems for ourselves — something I’ll be able to take wherever I go.
Another great course was Natural Language Processing, a graduate-level course where I learned how to analyze problems in a framework that can be understood by computers, and how to engage in conversations on technical and philosophical topics: not only as a speaker, but as a listener. The lessons I learned from this course will be invaluable as I progress in my career, not only because I have specialized knowledge in the growing areas of machine learning and natural language processing, but because they make me a more well-rounded individual who is better able to face tricky logic problems.
Other ways the college and/or Purdue provided preparation and assistance
Purdue’s Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) has been a lifesaver several times, but even more than that, participating in the course "Interviewing Principles and Practice" taught me how to convey my workplace strengths, preparing me for my job search.
I also benefitted from the job fairs on campus, and the events held by potential employers that taught me about the jobs that were available and the skills I would need for those positions. In fact, as the events coordinator for the Association of IT Professionals (AITP), I was allowed to volunteer at one of the student-run job fairs. I was able to help others achieve their career goals, understand what recruiters need, and improve my networking skills all at once!
The technical skills I learned were helpful, but every course I’ve taken at Purdue has included a component that relates to the greater work environment. You can come to Purdue knowing, for example, how to design a database in the third normal form, but the courses give you more. They teach you why it’s useful in a business and how to convey the value of your skills to your non-technical supervisors.
Finally, I joined Purdue’s Pathmaker internship program, where I participated in an internship during the school year. This has been highly rewarding professionally and academically, providing me with real-world work experience and allowing me to draw parallels between the things I learn in the classroom and their business applications in real-time.
Thanks go to:
- Julia Rayz, associate professor of computer and information technology: She is hilarious, super intelligent, and cares about giving her students a thirst for learning that almost matches her own. Her curiosity is contagious, her wit is compelling, and she is generous with sharing her time and her thoughts. She’s fantastic and made me feel like I belonged on campus.
- Alka Harriger, professor of computer and information technology: Professor Harriger has been a joy to work with, and her high standards have made me a more flexible person and a better employee – I appreciate and admire her.
My financial outlook coming to Purdue wasn't great. My family had fallen on hard times, to the extent, in order to save money and provide an extra pair of hands around the house, I had to delay my attendance for a year. Just when I was trying to find ways to take on a part-time job, while still being able to help my family and dedicate myself to my studies, I was awarded scholarships through the Polytechnic. Thanks to the support provided by CIT and its corporate sponsors, I was able to afford school without compromising my dedication to my studies or my family, and take on volunteer opportunities to help benefit the Purdue community.
- I also want to thank all of the members of the Association of IT Professionals (AITP) and Women in Technology (WIT) for the laughs and growth as a person!