Anisa Ray: Check Prep Instructor to Software program Engineer

Anisa Ray, MCIT ’22, studied rhetoric in school 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 Data 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 school I went into educating take a look at preparation for individuals taking admission exams for faculty or graduate faculty. It began as a short lived factor, however then it grew to become a longer-term factor. I’m additionally an artist, and the take a look at prep work was versatile sufficient that I had lots of time and power 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 wished to, and the challenges had been now not new. I actually preferred working instantly with individuals, however I might really feel that it wasn’t the ultimate step

for me.

So I went again to the drafting board. I’ve all the time been serious about 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 pc 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 lots 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 all the textbook for the Laptop Techniques Programming class earlier than getting my admission determination!

With only one course below your belt, did you're feeling ready for MCIT On-line?

Sure. This system was onerous however doable. The fabric progressed in a logical method that I might comply with, 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 it's important to do is put one foot in entrance of the opposite—it’s tiring, but it surely’s very clear what the subsequent step is.

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

The distant facet of this system was fantastic for me. I beloved the flexibleness of with the ability to watch

movies at my very own tempo. I might watch them at double velocity or watch them over and over. It match

completely into my life, and I thrived on it.

Did any college members have a selected impression on you?

This system has actually high-quality college total, however Dr. Tom Farmer is especially beloved. He’s an important communicator and his classes are rather well designed, however he additionally emanates kindness. And once you’re leaping into one thing new and intimidating, having that help means lots. 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! Total, he actually impressed me.

You had been a educating assistant for Laptop Techniques 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 individuals’s code. That’s an necessary talent as a result of once you begin a brand new job, you’re largely modifying and taking a look at an present code base, not doing something from scratch.

Additionally, persons 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 individuals overcome the challenges they had been dealing with.

What are you doing now that you just’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 ensure that their persons are connecting safely inside the community and to the web.

I wished to do one thing that felt significant and to contribute to one thing far-reaching and hopeful, so I’m the place I need to be. Our merchandise are utilized by large 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 curious about cybersecurity?

I’d heard lots about hacking, and I assumed it might be empowering to discover ways to get a pc to bypass what it was supposed to do. If 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 achievement?

This system completely modified my life. I went from having no pc abilities to with the ability to apply for software program engineering jobs at a critical firm and cross 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 need to be doing. That’s actually highly effective.

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

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