Career Notes of Online Graduates
Joe Araiza, Master’s of Public Administration
I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago—Antioch. I’m in a technology sales position as an Account Manager, and I consult with local government, both county and city here in the State of Illinois. Both the VA and my company paid for the master’s degree, which was motivating in itself to pursue. I enjoy working for the global leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and haven’t thought about leaving my job now that I have my degree! The degree will allow me to bring the knowledge I gained from the MPA to the table to better understand the expectations, needs of the organization, and how to work together to provide the right solution fit. I really enjoyed my time at UIS and recommend it to those interested in pursuing the degree.
Andrew Blum, Master’s of Public Administration
I work for UIC and it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up the tuition reimbursement. It was a lot of work but, I will never be upset that I spent my time to get the degree. A lot of things that I was able to learn here are applicable to the things I’ve been doing in my current job and would be applicable to an administrative role if I wanted to go into a leadership position in the future.
Anjali Charles, MS Computer Science
I am a software engineer at Zebra Technologies. I work with the custom applications group. Without the online program at UIS, I would not have my computer science degree. The professors in the program went above and beyond their call of duty and challenged me to learn. This education continued my passion to love software.
Vaibhav Datta, MS Management Information Systems
I’m from Columbus, Ohio. I am a technical architecture delivery manager for Accenture. I grew more confident. I was in information technology industry for around ten years before doing this degree. What I achieved from this degree I believe that I have become a lot more systematic in my approach. I do time management better than I used to do. I also handle problems a lot better than I used to.
Walter Edmonson, MS Management Information Systems
I’m from Galesburg, Illinois. I was inspired to get this degree because of better job and better pay, and for the prestige factor: I was the first in my family ever to graduate from college, and I now have my master’s degree. Next, I’ll be going to a Ph.D. program out of North Dakota. Some of it will be online, and I’ll also be going up during the summer for classes. In my job, I manage a team of IT technicians for BNSF Railroad in Galesburg, Illinois. I’ve been told my job will change now that I have a master’s degree. Maybe that will happen! I’ve also been approached by the Dean of Business here at UIS as well as the head of the department for MIS—they want me to teach, so I’ll probably be doing that.
Hannah Montague, MA Human Services (Social Services Administration)
I’m originally from the Decatur area, but I’ve been in Springfield for about four years. I finished my Master’s degree in December 2018 and have been working for a nonprofit agency for a year and half. The agency is the Illinois Masonic Outreach Services through the Grand Lodge of Illinois. I complete case management and I also help out with seven of our programs, which assist Master Masons, Spouses and Widows; along with providing referral services to State and Federal programs. I did my undergrad in social work at UIS and loved it! I really wanted to stay at UIS to get my Master’s degree and focus on administrative skills, I decided to get a human services master’s degree. It was online so it fit with my schedule, was flexible, and I really enjoyed the peer groups. Eventually, I want work at the administrative level by providing supervision and directing programs, whether it be in a nonprofit agency, a state/federal agency such as the V.A. I am also completing a Master’s of Social Work through UIUC to help further myself in the the social work field. Helping people is something that I’ve always been passionate about and it is what I’ve decided to dedicate my life to.
Amanda Schlieper, Master’s of Public Administration
I work for the University of Illinois, and I would like to move up in my career, so this seemed like the natural way to go. I work for University Payables on the Urbana-Champaign campus. I would like to become a director within the University so I’m working toward that.
Brian Stennett, Master’s of Public Health
I’m from Palatine, Illinois, where I’ve been with Palatine Fire Department for the past 15 years. I am involved in their Infection Control Program—occupational exposures to pathogens. I’m trying to get involved in some teaching. I got my certificate in epidemiology in addition to the MPH, but I actually just got hired—started a week ago—with Northwest Community Healthcare as the Emergency Preparedness Manager, and I will be involved in all their disaster planning and drills and things like that. So there’s a lot of things that it applies to and will help out in that arena.
Katherine Wildman, Master’s of Public Health
I currently live in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and work for a large hospital organization at one of their fitness centers. Teaching people how to lead a healthier lifestyle through fitness led me to want to teach people how to live healthier lifestyles overall. I always knew I wanted to get a master’s degree to further my education. I just didn’t know what I wanted to get it in and it took me a while to find something that fit. I decided to pursue an MPH because it was a perfect fit of where I was and where I wanted to go in my future career goals and aspirations.
Thom Weintraut, Master’s of Public Administration
I’m from Auburn, Alabama. I wanted to be able to prepare myself for job advancement. I looked online for MPA programs and saw that UIS had one of the better ones. This program really gave me a good insight on the workings of government. I work now as a city planner. My boss is going to retire pretty soon, so I’m hoping this will be my stepping stone into a management position. I wanted to make sure that I got the degree so I would be considered.
David Weissbohn, MS Management Information Systems
I’m from Beecher Illinois. I was the first in my family to get any college degree, and getting a master’s became a personal challenge. I’m the director of technology for Peotone School District in Peotone, Illinois. I’m not quite certain how my job will change now. I’m keeping my options open and keeping my feelers out there. Being able to connect business and technology was probably the most valuable thing for me from this program.
James Zielinski, MA Human Services (Social Services Administration)
I’m from Urbana, Illinois. I’ve been working in social services/human service field for about the past decade. In this field, you need to get your master’s to work past those entry-level positions. When looking at programs, UIS and this particular program, seemed best suited for helping me move into a leadership and administrative role. I am currently interviewing at different organizations and agencies within my field. I have received some prospective job offers. I’m pretty ecstatic about that.