Michael Torres, a senior from Chicago, has used the skills he gained from his iSchool courses in his internships and student organizations. Following his graduation this spring, he will work as an IT rotational analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.
Why did you pursue a BS/IS degree?
As an incoming freshman, I had no idea what I wanted my major to be. I always had a passion for technology but could never precisely identify what I wanted to do in this field. During my sophomore year, I heard about information sciences and how it was a new and upcoming major on campus that consisted of different pathways. I realized that information sciences was a perfect fit for my interests, as it is technology based and a large field where I can choose my specialization. After exploring the different pathways, I found the data analytics/data science pathway to be best fit. I enjoyed each class and decided to take more classes that would teach me how to analyze, shape, visualize, and present data.
Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?
As an undergrad, I was able to take introductory courses in the iSchool and saw firsthand how intuitive and extensive the curriculum was. I immediately found myself applying skills that I learned from these courses in my student organizations and internships.
What areas of information science interest you the most?
The curation of databases and SQL language are what interest me the most. Every single organization and institution relies on databases in order to function efficiently and capture data, so to create these databases, manipulate, and extract information from them is extremely interesting to me.
What career plans or goals do you have?
I completed a successful internship in the summer of 2021 that led to a full-time job offer from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.
What do you do outside of class?
I am currently involved in a Latinx based fraternity called Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. I joined this organization because I wanted to reconnect with my Latinx roots and surround myself with like-minded individuals who share the same cultural upbringing. Previously, as treasurer for the fraternity, I used techniques that I learned in my iSchool courses to analyze the fraternity's financial data and programming languages, such as R and Python, to visualize our finances and determine what the next plan of action should be for the organization.