Acquiring and Applying Knowledge and Skills to Determine a Career Pathway
Computer science major Christiane Umutoni’22 spent the summer of 2021 interning with the insurance and credit company CUNA Mutual Group. No stranger to internships, she’d already interned with Ampersand Rwanda LTD and Cisco, and participated in and facilitated NextGen Coders Network teams of students from colleges and universities in the U.S., Iraq, and the Palestinian Territories.
Nonetheless, interning with CUNA’s cloud integration team was different. “This was my first experience in IT. The computer science major can be a bit broad, so internships are the best way to narrow down career options. I was lucky to be working with a team of very supportive individuals. They and the company at large helped me learn new skills that I did not necessarily learn in classes. And these experiences have helped me figure out both what I like to do, and what I do not.”
Working with APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) specific to the company and helping other teams and departments on a day-to-day basis helped Christiane gain useful career preparation skills. She can now see herself working in IT again in future, and is grateful for the opportunities she has had to explore the types of full-time jobs she’ll love to do after graduation.
Lessons learned? “I am now not scared to apply for different roles, try new things, join new teams, and best of all I am no longer shy to ask questions, especially when I am new at a job. I have become comfortable acknowledging that I am in a learning process. I am not supposed to know it all.”
Christiane’s advice for students embarking on their education at Beloit College: “Take advantage of what Beloit College has to offer to help you grow your career, not only in class settings but also outside of class. You can study abroad, intern through the Career Channels, study off-campus in the U.S., do summer research, and, of course, enjoy the beautiful community at Beloit College.”
Next up for Christiane? She’s spending the fall 2021 semester at the Philadelphia Center, where she’ll earn credit toward her Beloit degree by interning four days per week and taking two academic courses.