Where are you from?
Beggs, Oklahoma. I have been there all my life. It was my hometown, and I am living there now.
What school and program are you enrolled in?
I am in the software development program in the School of Information Technologies.
Why did you want to come to OSUIT?
Opportunity is the number one thing. I had a degree in music education and was a teacher for five years at Beggs Public Schools. I very much enjoyed it and still miss teaching, but I started looking toward a career change to better provide for my family. Technology was another interest of mine, so I started looking into that.
I chose OSUIT because the Information Technologies programs are accredited, but also because I had sent many students here in the past that were very successful. Even my brother-in-law made a career change by coming here, and he told me about the internship process for almost all of the programs. I had gone to other universities that did not have that. When I looked at the website, I saw that their job placement rate was near 90 percent at graduation, which stuck out to me.
It’s kind of scary to go back to school full time when you already have a salary, but I saw it as an investment I needed to make for my family. My wife has been very supportive through all of this.
What’s been the best thing about being a student here?
The faculty and staff, and not just the IT faculty either. They have been so supportive, whether it is helping me in my studies or even helping me get an on-campus job to help support my family while in school.
I am coming back as a nontraditional student, so the interaction I have with the faculty is a bit different from my first time around. I have a better interaction with them, and they are very knowledgeable. School of Information Technologies Senior Administrative Assistant Pam Ingham has helped me through this whole process and continues to advise me in my courses and enrollment. She is the one who helped connect me to an internship and job three semesters before even graduating.
My daughter is even in the day care here at OSUIT, which helps us out tremendously. Kathi McGraw and her staff do a fantastic job. I have never worried about my daughter over there.
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
When I am on campus, I am in three buildings primarily—the IT building, the library and the Office of Marketing & Communications for my on-campus job. I really enjoy working with the Marketing & Communications staff. It is such a lighthearted atmosphere. It makes it easier to do the job because it is fun to do the job. The friendly banter we have makes it easy to get through the day. And working there helped me get the software development experience I needed to earn the associate developer job I’m starting in a few weeks.
What would you tell someone who was thinking about attending OSUIT?
I have had many students come here in the past because of the opportunities available at OSUIT. I have even run into some of my former students on campus. The number one thing about OSUIT is that there is a future for you after OSUIT. Many students do not realize that going in. They think college is going to be four, five or six years of fun, and then toward the end, they all of sudden need to find a career, and that’s a scary thing. They might apply to 10, 20 or 30 positions and not get anything. This whole campus, not just a career services department—their goal is not to just see you graduate, but to see you get into a full-time professional position.