Below is a post written by M.S. in Information Security graduate, Megan Olvera. She is an EMC employee who is continuing her quest for life-long learning. Below are her thoughts on her experience with Brandeis GPS.
“I am admittedly a lifelong learner. I have always loved school, and although I had just wrapped up my first Master’s Degree in 2010, by 2011, I was already missing the classroom. Unfortunately, I couldn’t justify the time and expense required to earn another degree “just because.” What to do, what to do? My career had taken a turn from a more liberal arts focus into the world of IT, and although my daily responsibilities didn’t require an IT background, having that level of knowledge certainly wouldn’t hurt. When my employer (EMC) sent out information about their partnership with Brandeis, jumping into the Master of Science in Information Security program seemed a perfect next step.
My previous formal education was focused on the Humanities side of the house, so I worried that I’d struggle with the more technical concepts I knew would come with this program; working in IT and learning IT in theory are often two very different things. I was happy to discover that the Brandeis instructors were not only patient in clarifying issues for me, but they seemed to appreciate the human-experience slant that my own background naturally brought to our class discussions. More than once, professors offered feedback that they valued the perspectives I added to the conversations.
The online learning format of Brandeis GPS was ideal for me, as I lead a busy life between family, work, and all-consuming hobbies. If I had a vacation planned or needed to travel for work, there were no worries about missing class, as class came with me! I’d be sure to message my professors of any planned time away, just in case I ran into connectivity issues, and most professors were accommodating if I asked for a weekly assignment to be made available early, so that I could work ahead when needed.
As I progressed through the curriculum at Brandeis, my new found knowledge was noticed and appreciated at work. At times, it even caused exclamations of surprise from my manager at my ability to clearly understand and troubleshoot technical issues that had stumped other members of our team. In addition to learning technical concepts, I also learned how to efficiently communicate with management; presenting the need-to-know information in a way that enables them to quickly grasp issues and impacts and then make decisions. In my current role, I interact with clients who expect a certain level of technical expertise combined with graceful communication skills, and now, thanks to my experience at Brandeis, I can confidently step forward and claim that competence. If any readers are on the fence about committing to (in my case, yet another) degree program, hesitate no longer – Brandeis is the way to go!”