What made you decide to choose your specific major?
I decided to choose Computer and Information Technology as my major because it provided me develop skills in two fields that I love: business and technology. For business, I like to engage with diverse groups of people, understand the fundamentals of enterprises, manage/lead various teams on all different types of projects, present in front of small or large audiences, and enhance my problem-solving skills and emotional intelligence. On the other hand, technology brings me into a whole other world of computer science and engineering! I love to learn about programming, hack and manage network administrative issues, develop databases and learn how to manage them on an enterprise level, develop other high-level solutions for various companies, and enhance my curiosity for where technology will take us in the future. In addition, as a Latina in STEM, I get to bring in a unique perspective to the table and really draw in my audience when explaining an idea. Luckily, Computer and Information Technology cultivates both of these ideas into one major!
What are a couple of your favorite things about your program of study?
I love that my program of study is flexible, so that I have almost every opportunity I want to take a different type of class so that I can fulfill my degree requirements. I get to take courses in a variety of different departments to expand my skills and overall curiosity. In addition, the courses directly related to my major are very diverse and definitely prepare me for the real world ahead. The courses in Computer and Information Technology are teaching me how to problem-solve for future issues, not just the current ones the world is facing now.
What has been one of your favorite class projects?
One of my favorite class projects that I have done is my TECH 120 class, Design Thinking and Technology. My team and I developed a prototype for younger children to the explore the internet safely. We made a URL Link checker that proofs each website a child could possibly click on. In the program, we decided on criteria for what is a safe website: the internet protocols, specific word patterns, and domain names. The website URL would then change color in accordance with how safe it is (red light, green light colors were used to evaluate the security level of each website). This solution allows children to monitor their web surfing, prevent any viruses from infiltrating their computers, and educate them on cybersecurity and how to protect themselves from danger online.
What other activities are you involved in on campus?
Other activities that I am involved in on campus is ALPFA, Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE), Polytechnic Student Government Senate, and tennis!
What do you know about your program of study now that you wish someone had told you when you were choosing a major?
I would say speak with students and professors who have a taken a particular course. All professors at Purdue University generously provide previous years’ syllabi so that students can see what they will be learning in their courses. However, I believe you can get an even better understanding the commitment and difficulty of the course if you speak with students who have taken it and the professor who teaches it. For the students, you can typically ask people at Purdue how they felt about the courses or post a question online in the Purdue Reddit for students. In addition, you may also speak with your professor and ask specific questions about course materials, dedication hours, and even exams.
What would be one piece of advice for prospective students or new Purdue students?
One piece of advice I would recommend is trying to immerse yourself as a student for the day at Purdue. I suggest going to Purdue on Friday into Sunday and experience what this university is like. You’ll be able to see what classes are like, the academic resources that are available, and see what students do on a normal college day. Saturday and Sunday should be fun as you get to experience Purdue’s culture, meet the diverse groups of people on campus, and even get to see what the sports and extracurriculars are like! I was able to do this, even during the pandemic, and the experience showed me why I would be a great fit at Purdue University!