Christopher McKinney '19
Hometown: Newburgh, Indiana
Computer Information Systems
I got interested in computer information systems when I took a class in web development in high school. I’m good at HTML, but I’m not really into programming. CIS is a good fit for me because it deals with how technology serves business. Writing code isn’t required. Basic math skills are useful for finance and accounting, but there’s not a huge emphasis on math in CIS.
I considered three schools, all local, before deciding on USI. I liked the idea of smaller classes, because I wanted to be able to interact with my professors. Most of all, I decided on USI because it is affordable.
For my senior project, I worked with a machinery company located in China to develop a website for their business. I got to experience what the business world is like—interacting with clients, meeting deadlines and following a systems-development life cycle.
The biggest eye-opener for me has been studying cyber security. After an introductory class, I took the opportunity to work in the SOC (Security Operations Center) on campus. With my CIS degree, I’ll need only two more classes to earn USI’s cyber-security certificate. And I have a head start on preparing to earn the CompTIA Security-Plus certification.
I have really enjoyed studying at USI and the work I’m doing here. The professors are easy to talk with and always take time to listen and help. I feel my USI education will get me a position with a company I want to work for.
Hometown: Evansville, Indiana
Computer Information Systems
I graduated from North High in Evansville and had applied to five colleges before I decided on USI. I was already a little familiar with campus, having played sand volleyball here with friends. I really liked the school’s size. It’s big enough that you can always meet new people, but it’s small enough that professors know your name and you can form good relationships with them.
I started my studies in business administration. My sophomore year I took a class in data analytics, working with Tableau. This got me interested in data analytics, and when I looked further I saw lots of career opportunities.
I worked in the SOC (Security Operations Center) the first semester of my senior year. It was a great experience and gave me a feel for working independently in a real-world environment. For my senior project, I created an interactive map for local food availability and a discussion board at urbanseeds.org. It was a fun experience, working through issues with the client and solving communication problems.
USI provided me the chance for an internship with OneMain Financial. I recently accepted a full-time position with them; after graduation I’ll be working as a software developer in their business intelligence group.
I believe the opportunities are endless at USI. The people here care about you and want you to succeed. I have made friendships that will last for life. I feel well prepared to be successful, doing something worthwhile and personally rewarding.