IST knowledge translates to creativity for student musician

Nicholas Arndt Credit: ProvidedAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nicholas Arndt -- senior, information sciences and technology -- has always had an interest in technology and a passion for music. His experience at Penn State is giving him the opportunity to bring both of his interests together.


As part of the local music duo Nick and Sam, Arndt’s life outside of the classroom is consumed by music. In his music duo, which plays music ranging from old hits to modern pop music, Arndt plays both drums and guitar. He started playing the drums at age 4 and was part of a cover band in elementary school, then at 14 began performing at local venues. Now as a college student, he plays many shows in local music scene staples such as Café 210 West. He also finds time to write and record his own original music.

Arndt says that the knowledge he’s gained in pursuit of his major has translated well in his musical creativity.

“Since my degree is IST and my option focuses on project management integration, I’ve been able to use my knowledge in music creation, efficiency and time management to manage myself and my passion for music,” he said. “A lot of music nowadays is done on computers; there’s definitely a bridge between IST and music creation.”

While Arndt spends much of his free time focused on his music, he has made sure to take advantage of the resources and extracurricular activities offered within the College of IST as well.

“I’m the IST Consulting Group treasurer,” he said. “We provide free services to local businesses in State College looking for improvements in cybersecurity and web development.”

This consulting group is how Arndt met Cesar Alcantara, a fellow IST student in the group who then told him about an internship opportunity at Venderium, a Pittsburgh startup that focuses in the forest products industry. As they quickly became acquainted with the small team, the company appointed them as both co-founders and junior software developers for their work.

“The mission of Venderium is to take this multi-billion dollar a year industry and integrate it with software that saves money and helps sustainability efforts,” said Arndt, who worked for the founder and owner Seth Bowser. “As junior software developer, I worked primarily as a front-end developer and UI/UX designer who built the backend server and other major technical requirements.”

Arndt has been actively applying the skills he’s learned at the College of IST in his entrepreneurial endeavors like Venderium.

“A lot of IST classes and projects have us think for ourselves and come up with innovative ideas, so they’re already entrepreneurial in that they give you the mentality to think outside the box,” said Arndt, who was able to show some of these project and work to employers during his time in IST.

Nick Arndt (left) plays the guitar and sings as part of his music duo Nick and Sam during Movin' On. Credit: Movin' OnAll Rights Reserved.

Although his time spent inside the classroom has helped foster his independent thinking, Arndt says that going the extra mile outside of the classroom gave him some of the most valuable connections during his time at Penn State, and urges incoming students to make the most of these opportunities.  

“Take advantage of all the resources Penn State and IST offer. Participate and get involved in clubs and activities like Entrepreneurship Week,” Arndt said. “The thing that separates you from getting here and getting a job is what you’ve done with your time here, so make sure to make the most of it.” 

After graduation, Arndt will serve as an analyst for government and public services at Deloitte, where he’ll use integration skills within his focus to improve initiatives from the government to employ in their systems. He also plans to continue with his passion for music on the side. 

Last Updated March 16, 2020