Soon-to-be IST graduate scores impressive nine job offers

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Victoria Bardusch knew she wanted to study in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) from a young age. As a high school sophomore, she toured IST with then-Dean David Hall, while her father, Bob, a Penn State architectural engineering graduate, served on the college’s advisory board.

As she nears her graduation this spring, Bardusch is reflecting on what she has accomplished in the college — and deciding which of her nine job offers she should accept. “I had a great experience,” she said. “I declared a double major in IST and security and risk analysis after falling in love with both of the introductory classes.”

One of the things she most enjoys about her majors is how hands-on experiences are woven into classes. “The projects and classes are really relevant,” she said. For example, a class focused on globalization and technology allowed her to complete a group project brainstorming a new foreign policy for the United States in the fall of 2015.

After visiting the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIC), a think tank based in Washington, D.C., Bardusch and other students came up with their own solutions to crucial international conflicts. “We really looked at ways to make the U.S.’s current [chemical weapons] policy better, like including new countries on an annual treaty signed in Geneva,” she said. At the end of the semester, Bardusch and her classmates were able to present their work to a member of CSIC. “Those are the things IST is really great at: putting students in real-world situations,” she said.

Like many children of Penn State alumni, she enjoys having baby pictures showing her in Penn State apparel and loves cheering on the Nittany Lion football team. During her senior year of high school, she took college classes at a Penn State Commonwealth campus, which made her eligible to buy student football tickets. “Ever since then, I’ve lived and breathed Penn State football!” she enthused.

When she’s not at Beaver Stadium, Bardusch has found plenty to be passionate about. In addition to serving for two years on the student committee that helps to organize Penn State Startup Week (formerly IST Startup Week), she is a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, on the undergraduate advisory council for the College of IST, and an IST Diplomat.

She parlayed her undergraduate education and these experiences into the nine job offers she is now considering. “I have a lot of really great options, a whole wide range of offers,” she said. “You can take this one major and mold it to whatever you want it to be.” While Bardusch has received an impressive amount of attention from prospective employers, she said it’s common for IST students to receive multiple job offers and know where they are headed before donning their cap and gown. “All my friends in the major have job offers already,” she said.

For herself, Bardusch hasn’t decided where she’ll be starting her career yet, but knows she and her classmates will be able to fill a crucial gap in the information technology sector. “I’m not going to do coding. But I am going to be able to talk to the code developers, understand what they need, and relay it back to the project creators,” she explained. “That’s one of the skills IST is great at teaching and that companies are really, really looking for.”

“There are a lot of great people who can code, and a lot of great people who can do business. But companies always need that person who can do a little bit of both,” she said.

Bardusch is excited to make an impact in one of the many companies scouting her, especially as a female in a traditionally male-dominated field. “Women in tech tend to have more powerful voices,” she observed. “I hope to see more women in leadership and executive positions in the future. The women in this college are taking the extra effort to make it happen.”

Victoria Bardusch, a double major in IST and security and risk analysis, has nine job offers more than a month before graduation. Credit: Victoria BarduschAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated May 04, 2017