Exploring a Future in IT

At seemingly every turn the summer before her final year at Illinois Tech and the summer after, Akvile Kiskis seized upon the opportunities afforded her during the Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship to help herself seamlessly transition into professional life.

A member of the fellowship’s first cohort in 2017, Kiskis spent that first summer as an intern at the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C., working in a variety of offices and learning more about what interested her, like penetration testing. Her experience interning at the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, the next summer showed her what she’ll do as an information management specialist, a role she’ll spend the first five years of her career in.

“I absolutely [loved] it,” she says. “This has opened so many doors for me, and I’ve met a lot of amazing people.”

A transfer student, Kiskis appreciated that many Information Technology and Management and Cybersecurity and Forensics faculty members were either still actively working in IT or had recently left the field, allowing them to provide expert guidance on relevant and timely topics. Hands-on projects proved even more beneficial.

“It’s one thing to read about troubleshooting computers, but it’s a whole other thing when you have one in front of you. The hands-on aspect of [the ITM] program really came in handy with this fellowship,” she says. “Having a programming and scripting background helped as well to make creating, using, and troubleshooting existing programs and scripts much easier for me.”