Class of 2014
BS Applied Computer Science, BS Business Management
What's better than graduating from Keene State College with a degree in the red hot field of Applied Computer Science? How about pairing it with a degree in Business Management and graduating with a double major. That's exactly with Jamie Schena will do in 2014 when she completes her undergraduate education at Keene State.
"I've always loved playing around 'behind the scenes' of my computer, even when I was too young to understand what I was really doing," Jamie admits. "As I started taking computer science courses, I noticed that my professors referenced business management a lot. So, I figured any company with an IT department will always need a manager for it, so why not mix the two?"
Not only is Jamie mixing two degrees, she's successfully mixing classroom learning with practical internships off campus at two area businesses. Jamie says, "When KSC hosted a job fair last year, I got the opportunity to speak with a recruiter. She told me what to expect from the application process, and most importantly, how to be successful in interviews."
That guidance was a success. Currently, Jamie is a Financial Analyst intern at C&S Wholesale Grocers, a locally-owned multibillion dollar company, and she was offered a summer internship with Liberty Mutual. "My future goal is to have a career at Liberty or C&S. I guess I'll just have to see which company suits me better!"
On her way to accomplishing future goals, Jamie has a clear career path that's been guided by Keene State professors, programs, and peers along the way. In turn, she's giving back by becoming a tutor in the Aspire office, which provides a variety of academic support services. According to Jamie, being a tutor and having the experience of teaching other students about computer science and management is "absolutely awesome."
If you can't find Jamie in the Aspire office, check the CS Lab, where she volunteers as a monitor. Although she can help any student with questions about homework, classes, and IT troubleshooting, she also benefits from the experience by reviewing material from previous classes and getting a fresh view from others if she can't debug a program.
Working together and networking absolutely work for Jamie and these connections are helping her build a solid foundation that includes rewarding personal and professional experiences. "We have a great network of professors who inform us of company openings and how to apply," she says. "I've never seen professors go so far out of their way to get every single student into an internship or a job."
"Networking with other students has been crucial for me at KSC," Jamie adds. "If it weren't for other students, I wouldn't have known about the C&S internship and wouldn't be working there now."
Beyond work and beyond the classroom, Jamie is also a member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the Computer Science Honor Society. But, according to Jamie, the most rewarding connections of all are friendships she's formed with her Delta Phi Epsilon sorority sisters. "This has opened up a sisterhood with my own sorority, and I've also made many friends from other sororities. Without these girls, I'd be lost at KSC."
It's hard to believe that Jamie would ever be lost, however, it's easy see that her connections are having a major impact on her experience at Keene State.