Going to Grad School at IIT

Starting next week, I will be a full time graduate student at IIT! I'm going back to school to get my Professional Master's in Computer Science with a Specialization in Software Engineering. An unfortunate turn of events at work kinda forced me to figure out the next step in my left. After a lot of thought, the best option for me at this time is going back to school. I want to thank all of the people who have helped me get into school: Scott, Jeff, and Terry for writing letters of recommendation and Pam, Terry, and Steph for reviewing my professional statement. Thanks to my family and friends for their support as I figured out what to do next.

For anyone who cares to see it and as a reminder to myself, here is my professional statement:

Since graduating with honors from IIT's Computer Science department in December 2005, I have spent the last three years practicing what I've learned as a quality assurance engineer, web developer, and software engineer. In order to further my professional development career, I would like to continue my education with a specialization in software engineering.

The use of computers and electronics to augment learning in fast-paced, high-performance activities is an area I would like to pioneer. As a recently licensed skydiver, I have seen first-hand the need for such technology to insure the safety of beginners and can envision future professionals using training software to increase their performance potential. By applying my computer science knowledge to my extracurricular activities and starting a company to develop specialized training software, I believe I can make my greatest contribution to the communities of which I am a part.

When it comes to computer science and programming, I have always had a curious nature. During my undergraduate career I made it a priority to expose myself to as many topics in computer science as I could. From intelligent text analysis and network performance to information security, I was involved in a number of cutting-edge classes that have since found their way into the standard computer science curriculum. Since graduating, I have continued to satisfy my intellectual curiosity through conferences, books, and training seminars. My work in the ever-changing web development environment during the past few years exemplifies my desire to learn by having required me to keep up-to-date with relevant innovations and practices in the field. The collaborative environments I have worked in have not only given me the opportunity to gain new insight into the technological advancements in the field, but to teach and mentor others as well.

I will always see myself as a student of technology, whether in the classroom or in my profession. Attaining a technical lead position in a high-tech startup company is the next goal I have set for myself. Becoming a technical lead in the software industry requires a passion for learning and the confidence to execute challenging decisions. That confidence comes from experience in the field as well as an understanding of the theory and principles underlying each option. With a focus on results and adaptability, the problem solving and continued education environment of a startup company is an area in which I feel I can excel.

With IIT's professional master's program, the education that I receive will go a long way in helping me achieve both my short term and long term career goals.