IT Girl

IT Girl

If it hadn’t been for Saint Mary’s, alumna Michelle McManus may have never found her calling – management information systems (MIS) . “In another school, I would have just taken the required courses, and possibly not have taken any computer sciences,” says McManus. Math and computer science professor Mary Connolly had a big impact on what she decided to do, says McManus. “She pushed me to do things that I did not know that I could do.”

Math professor Ewa Misiolek also influenced her, teaching her “the importance of being able to learn independently and to push myself when I come across something that is puzzling, no matter how much I want to give up.” The pushing paid off, and McManus landed a number of interviews in IT (information technology), and is now working as an analyst/programmer with Boeing in St. Louis, Mo. She is part of an Information Systems Career Foundation Program (ISCFP), a high visibility program, training participants more rigorously for management positions.

While at Saint Mary’s McManus says she loved all of her computer classes. “The professors are amazing people and the class dynamic is unique,” she says of the small class size and close working relationships between the students.

McManus chose information technology as a field because she didn’t want a job that would become mundane and boring. “I want something that will allow me to continue to learn new things and apply them on a daily basis. It is impossible to know everything there is to know about computer science or information technology, so I know I will never be bored.”

McManus says she would like to see more people in IT, especially women. “It is a highly male-dominated field, and this can be intimidating. The material you have to learn and understand is intimidating as well, but it is not impossible to learn.” Embracing her desire, McManus started a Blackboard site at Saint Mary’s to give advice to underclassmen about computer science and the MIS major. “I would love to see more Saint Mary’s College students working toward a career in computer science.”