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Anisa Ray: Take a look at Prep Trainer to Software program Engineer

Anisa Ray, MCIT ’22, studied rhetoric in faculty after which labored as a take a look at prep instructor, getting college students able to ace their graduate faculty entrance exams. Immediately, she’s a newly minted graduate of the web Grasp of Laptop and Info Know-how (MCIT On-line) from College of Pennsylvania and a software program engineer at Palo Alto Networks, a multinational cybersecurity firm with greater than 85,000 prospects across the globe.

We sat down with Anisa to study extra about her journey from educating GMAT tricks to writing code that protects companies worldwide.

What had been you doing earlier than enrolling in MCIT On-line?

After faculty I went into educating take a look at preparation for folks taking admission exams for school or graduate faculty. It began as a short lived factor, however then it turned a longer-term factor. I’m additionally an artist, and the take a look at prep work was versatile sufficient that I had a variety of time and vitality to do artwork.

What prompted you to pursue a profession change?

I reached some extent the place I felt that I wasn’t rising as a lot as I needed to, and the challenges had been not new. I actually favored working instantly with folks, however I may really feel that it wasn’t the ultimate step

for me.

So I went again to the drafting board. I’ve at all times been taken with studying new languages—I’ve studied Italian and Greek—and I additionally take pleasure in problem-solving. For instance, I used to create time- saving instruments for my college students. Combining these two pursuits led me on to laptop science.

How did you make the transition?

I had no expertise within the discipline in any respect, so I began by taking Computational Pondering for Drawback Fixing, Penn’s free class on Coursera. That course actually sparked my curiosity, and I had a variety of enjoyable. So I made a decision to go for it, and I utilized to MCIT On-line. I used to be so excited that I learn your entire textbook for the Laptop Programs Programming class earlier than getting my admission determination!

With only one course beneath your belt, did you are feeling ready for MCIT On-line?

Sure. This system was laborious however doable. The fabric progressed in a logical method that I may observe, particularly the programming courses. When you study the syntax and perceive the sequence to execute it, then it’s only a matter of placing all of it collectively. It was like climbing a steep hill for 2 years the place all you must do is put one foot in entrance of the opposite—it’s tiring, but it surely’s very clear what the following step is.

What was your expertise like as an MCIT On-line scholar?

The distant side of this system was great for me. I beloved the pliability of having the ability to watch

movies at my very own tempo. I may watch them at double pace or watch them again and again. It match

completely into my life, and I thrived on it.

Did any school members have a selected impression on you?

This system has actually high-quality school general, however Dr. Tom Farmer is especially beloved. He’s a fantastic communicator and his classes are rather well designed, however he additionally emanates kindness. And whenever you’re leaping into one thing new and intimidating, having that help means quite a bit. He recorded a video for us on the finish of sophistication to honor and encourage us, and I’m positive I’m not the one one who cried watching it! General, he actually impressed me.

You had been a educating assistant for Laptop Programs Programming. What was that have like?

Being a TA was nice. It bolstered the course materials for me, and it deepened my abilities as a result of I used to be debugging different folks’s code. That’s an vital talent as a result of whenever you begin a brand new job, you’re principally modifying and an present code base, not doing something from scratch.

Additionally, individuals are actually appreciative of your assist. That’s what I beloved about being a instructor previous to becoming a member of MCIT On-line, so being a TA was a method of connecting my previous to my current and future. I actually loved serving to folks overcome the challenges they had been going through.

What are you doing now that you simply’ve graduated?

I’m a software program engineer at Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity firm, the place I work on cloud-delivered safety. We work with organizations and governments to make it possible for their individuals are connecting safely throughout the community and to the web.

I needed to do one thing that felt significant and to contribute to one thing far-reaching and hopeful, so I’m the place I wish to be. Our merchandise are utilized by huge organizations all around the world, and the corporate is even serving to in Ukraine. It’s cool to be part of one thing so optimistic.

What acquired you interested by cybersecurity?

I’d heard quite a bit about hacking, and I assumed it might be empowering to discover ways to get a pc to bypass what it was supposed to do. Once you perceive its vulnerabilities, you perceive its true nature. So I took a cybersecurity class in this system, and that was instrumental in serving to me get the job that I’ve.

How did MCIT On-line set you up for fulfillment?

This system completely modified my life. I went from having no laptop abilities to having the ability to apply for software program engineering jobs at a critical firm and go their interviews, which had been actually rigorous. I’ve this profession in entrance of me now that wasn’t even in sight earlier than, and it’s what I wish to be doing. That’s actually highly effective.

Study extra in regards to the on-line Grasp of Laptop and Info Know-how (MCIT On-line) from Penn Engineering.


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