As the semester is coming to an end, the School of Information Technology and Computing wants to highlight some of our seniors that will be graduating in December. We asked Alicia Clark, an Information Technology major, Travis Cook, a Computer Science major, and Katey Bluel, a Digital Entertainment Technology major, a few questions reflecting on their time at ACU and specifically with us in SITC.
What degree are you finishing and what interests you about it?
- Katey: Digital Entertainment Technology. What drew me to this major was my love of being creative as well as using computers in the process and this major perfectly encompasses those two things.
- Travis: I am finishing a BS in Computer Science this December. I think an interesting aspect of CS is the ability to tackle problems in different ways; rarely are you bound to solve a programming problem in just one way. This allows you to be creative in your problem-solving.
Where are you headed after graduation?
- Katey: I am moving to Austin, Texas and will be working at an entry-level position at Stitch Fix. My hope is to eventually get into their advertising department so that I can get the word out about what they are doing.
- Travis: After graduation, I’m headed back home to Washington for Christmas then on to Scotland for vacation before moving to San Antonio to start work with USAA as a Creative Designer.
What was one of the most impactful things you did here?
- Katey: When I worked with Austin Graham to relaunch the DET Club it was just us meeting for our sophomore year and occasionally we would get other people, but we stuck with it. Seeing the group grow and grow each year is amazing.
- Alicia: I think the most impactful accomplishment are all of the different tasks that I completed as a student programmer for ACU’s IT department. Intangibly, my relationship with God was strongly impacted by my choice to come to ACU and the friends that I made here. The professors, fellow students, the marching band, best friends/roommates, and the wonderful girls in Alpha Kai Omega all helped me mature and grow closer to God in ways that I couldn’t have imagined.
What do you wish you had known before you came to college?
- Alicia: I wish I had known more about what the information technology degree path entails, and come to ACU with prior computer language knowledge because it was difficult to just jump right in and start swimming in a computer world that I knew nothing about. But now that I’m about to graduate, I feel like God planned that out perfectly because I couldn’t be where I am now if it was any different.
- Katey: I wish that I would have focused less on constantly and would have invested myself more into all the work and projects that I was doing with DET and the friends that I had made through the process.
What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
- Katey: Just try. I was always scared to use new programs I knew nothing about because I was worried I was not going to be good at it, but of course, you are not great when you start but the more you work at it the better and better you get.
- Alicia: Getting good grades, networking, and preparing yourself for the real world after college is the main reason you’re coming to ACU, and you should never lose track of that. However, your relationship with God and the experience you have with the ACU community while you’re here is also important – so try not to let low grades ruin your life because, in the end, relationships are what matter. Yes, the grades and GPA might get you your first job after college, but after that, no one looks at them. The friendships that you make with your professors and fellow students, and your relationship with God, are just as important as having a 4.0 GPA, if not more important.
What was your favorite class while you were here?
- Travis: One of my favorite classes was HCI. I highly recommend every Technology major take the course. The course shows us how we can create software and systems to better people’s lives through human-centered design.
- Alicia: The Intro to ITC class was my first major class my first semester freshman year, and being required to make an app in 10 weeks with no prior knowledge was really difficult. It stretched me to my limits, I pulled more all-nighters in that semester than I have in the following semesters combined, and my grades in other classes suffered from it. But through it all, I made some of my best friends, created my first mobile app, and created memories that will last a lifetime. My first group project in college was also in that class, and it gave me invaluable content for interview questions. Overall, Intro to ITC was my favorite class because it’s what set my foundation in the Technology department, and made me realize that since I survived that class, I might actually be able to successfully work in an IT career.
What are you saddest to leave?
- Katey: All of my students in the classes I am a Teacher Assistant in, especially the DET 210 class, intro to Digital Entertainment. Every year we get more and more people that are really passionate about what they are doing and I wish I could see everything that they produce and what they do their time here.
- Alicia: I am saddest to leave the ACU community behind. The ACU IT department, professors, classmates/friends, and the beautiful ACU campus all mean so much to me; words cannot express how grateful I am that God blessed me with ACU. These communities have shaped me into a person with a stronger foundation of faith, a wealth of IT knowledge to build upon throughout my careers, and with better-grounded values and morals. It’s going to be difficult to leave it all behind, but the memories and friendships will last a lifetime.