Alaina Ridolfo

Alaina Ridolfo
Cybersecurity (CIT)

What are a couple of your favorite things about your program of study? 

My favorite things about the CIT program of study are the variety of classes we all take. Every CIT student takes different intro classes before starting their major-specific courses. This is very helpful because we all develop a large base of knowledge before we get into more specific topics!

I also enjoy how quickly we learn to apply our knowledge. We learn a new topic on a Monday and, by Wednesday, I get the opportunity to apply the topic in lab and see how it works hands-on. This is a great learning experience! 

What has been one of your favorite class projects? 

My favorite class project was our CNIT 180 (Introduction to Systems Development) final project. We designed different UML diagrams based on the needs of a theoretical business. It was a great way to apply all the knowledge we had learned in the course. 

What other activities are you involved in on campus? 

I am involved in the Women in Technology and Women in Cybersecurity clubs. I am also a member of the Phi Sigma Rho sorority here on campus. We are the only social sorority specifically for women pursuing STEM majors! 

What was something unique about one of your summer internships? 

I interned with Eleven Fifty Academy this past summer and will be returning again this coming summer. I helped to teach their Network+ class and studied for the CompTIA Network+ certification. Through this opportunity, I gained a unique perspective on cybersecurity and am excited to be returning again this summer! 

What do you know about your program of study now that you wish someone had told you when you were choosing a major? 

When I was looking at my major, I wish someone would’ve told me its ok not to have any prior knowledge in this field. I was very nervous coming in with little to no experience in the technology world. I quickly learned that I didn’t need to worry about being behind in my classes. We all start with the basic classes and professors assume you have no prior knowledge, which is very reassuring! 

What would be one piece of advice for prospective students or new Purdue students? 

I think the most helpful thing you can do is collect as much information as possible, so my advice is to talk to as many people as you can! Ask people questions about what to expect. Ask a student in your potential major about their experiences and why they picked this school.

What made you decide to choose your specific major? 

I picked my major because I knew I wanted to do something with computers but I didn’t want to sit behind a desk all day. I wanted a major with many different options for what my job might like when I graduate. Cybersecurity has a broad range of career paths attached to it.

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