Name: Brittany Phillips
Graduation Year: 2014
Degree(s): BS in Management Information Systems
Hometown: Omaha, NE
Study Abroad location: Braunschweig, Germany / Innsbruck, Austria
Current position/title: IT Business Consultant, Swarovski AG, Triesen, Liechtenstein
How do you think studying abroad helped shape your future career? How do you think it enhanced your educational experience?
Studying abroad opened my mind to new ways of thinking and brought upon new opportunities. I had the chance to network with people that ultimately helped me in landing my job. I gained a lot of knowledge in the classroom, but I learned even more in my daily routine. I started to learn a new language, became more culturally aware as I met people from various countries, and developed myself personally as I acclimated to my new environment.
What was your favorite memory from studying abroad?
I don't think I can pick just one. Exploring a new continent and hearing stories from new friends from around the globe is incredible. I enjoyed every minute of it, from the educational, mind-opening visit to Berlin, to the exhausting hikes in the Alps, to the scenic views and delicious food of Tuscany.
Do you have any advice for students that want to study abroad?
Don't hesitate, just do it! Inform yourself early, and if you have the opportunity, you have to take it. Regardless of which country you visit, it will be an unforgettable, life-changing experience.
What IS&T class and/or professor had the biggest impact on you in guiding your future career?
I definitely have to thank Dr. Deepak Khazanchi. He gave me the opportunity to study abroad and assured me that it would be an amazing experience. ISQA 3420 Managing in a Digital World, with Dr. Petter, was also one of the most influential courses. It demanded a lot of interactive participation with different modes of teaching and truly helped me to envision my future career.
What’s the biggest misconception you think is out there about careers in IT?
I think the average person has a narrow view of what a career in IT entails. There is far more than just development of software and tech support. Of course those roles exist and are important, but there are plenty of less technical positions as well. People also view it as a male-dominated field. While there are still more men than women, that is starting to change. Programs like Code Crush at UNO are part of a larger initiative to encourage girls to find an interest in IT.
Why are you happy with your choice to pursue a degree in IT?
I'm happy that I chose a degree in IT because, through the course work and practical experience, I have found something that I have a passion for and is in high demand. I am constantly told what a valuable degree it is, and I love being in a field that is ever-changing and full of endless opportunities.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would just like to thank everyone at University of Nebraska Omaha and the College of IS&T for the education I received and the doors it has opened for me. I'd also like to thank the late Mrs. Suzanne Scott and Mr. Walter Scott for their generous support of me and my fellow Scott Scholars.