After receiving his bachelor's degree in computer science from Visvesvaraya Technological University in India, Rahul Chandran joined Deloitte Consulting as a business technology analyst. It was there that he realized how much he enjoyed solving customer's problems. This experience motivated Chandran to further his education in a master's program that would best complement his professional goals.
Cassidy Russell wears many hats—theater director, improv teacher, visual artist, and MS/LIS online (Leep) student. However, she still finds time to be involved in service activities. Russell recently joined Students Advising on Graduate Education (SAGE), a student advisory board and leadership opportunity for graduate students at Illinois that fosters active engagement with Graduate College programs and initiatives.
Cayden Boyer, a senior from a small town near Peoria, Illinois, has expressed his appreciation for the BS/IS degree program by starting the Information Sciences Academic Fraternity. This new fraternity is an official student organization with a focus on helping future information professionals network and find more internship and career opportunities. Boyer's goal is to create a community of people with similar interests and advocate for their success.
Yosra Abdulwahid, a junior from Oak Forest, Illinois, is sharing her enthusiasm for her School through her service as an iSchool ambassador. She has had the opportunity to present to high school students about the BS in information sciences, participate in a student course showcase event, and attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference.
Kelly Czarnecki (MS/LIS ’02) is the 2021-2022 president of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. She is excited about YALSA's new strategic plan, which is based on member needs and feedback. Czarnecki describes the plan as "a fresh start we can rally around that will make YALSA an even stronger organization!" She also is looking forward to serving as an alumni panelist at the iSchool’s Fall 2021 Virtual Open House on September 3.
This summer, BS/IS student Christopher Dowd had the opportunity to put what he learned in his iSchool classes into action as a data and analytics intern at Discover. He found out about the company's summer undergraduate internship program when Discover Campus Recruiting contacted him through Handshake.
MT Campbell recently earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. This certification required 35 hours of professional training, an application process, and passing a test. She looks forward to implementing what she learned "to provide first-rate support to research faculty in managing their grant projects."
For Lisa O'Keefe (MS/LIS ’09), getting a job at Reddit was like "the mothership has truly called me home." She enjoys the variety of her job responsibilities as well as her company's mission to create community and belonging for everyone in the world.
When she is not working as a library assistant at Clive (IA) Public Library or taking care of her large family (four boys!), Megan Okesson is pursuing her MS/LIS degree through the iSchool's Leep (online) program. After graduation, she would like to work as a public or academic librarian but would also be thrilled to receive a job offer from the Library of Congress.
Jhani Miller (MS '15), assistant branch manager for the Brooklyn Public Library, is an aerial artist who has competed nationally, performed off-Broadway, and taught the first-ever public library pole dance class in the U.S.
Mayank Vijaywargia (MS '19) credits his iSchool coursework with preparing him for managing, cleaning, and interpreting data to make strategic decisions; prototyping for data products; and building data warehouses in his job at Ernst & Young LLP. He encourages current students to choose their courses wisely, keeping in mind what they want to do in their future careers.
Hadley So, a freshman from the San Francisco Bay area, is interested in ethically harnessing technology's potential to help society and the world. According to So, the iSchool classes he has taken so far have helped him analyze problems in new ways, and his professors' wide range of backgrounds and perspectives "keep the lessons interesting and relevant to modern issues."
Pujeethaa Jakka (MS ’19), data scientist at Pattern Computer Inc., credits the iSchool’s courses in applied business research, data visualization, and data mining with playing a crucial role in helping her achieve her professional goals.
Sanket Sinha (MS '18) uses the technical, interpersonal, and analytical skills he developed at the iSchool in his work as a senior data scientist at The Kraft Heinz Company. For Sinha, the combination of coursework and experiential learning opportunities make the MS/IM program "truly transformative and rewarding."
Our School is grateful for talented and dedicated staff, who contribute greatly to our teaching and research excellence. This "Get to Know" series highlights our staff, sharing their friendly faces and stories of professional success.
Athena Tang, an incoming student in the BS in information sciences (BS/IS) program, was drawn to the iSchool because of her interest in human-computer interaction and user experience. A sophomore from Walnut, California, Tang is pursuing a dual degree in graphic design. In the spring semester, she took Social Aspects of Information Technology (IS 202) and Design of Usable Interfaces (IS 351), which gave her a better idea of what to expect as a student in the iSchool's new undergraduate program.