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Zach Porges, InfoSci Major '13 and MPS '14

Zach Porges was an InfoSci undergrad student who graduated with a degree from CALS in 2013. He was the President of Cornell's Information Science Student Association during 2013 as well. Zach remained at Cornell to complete his MPS in Information Science, graduating in May 2014. 

What are you doing now (job title, company, location)?

I’m a software engineer in a rotation program in Apple’s Information Systems and Technology department. I started out doing front-end web development with Apple’s Online Store, and now I’m doing iOS development with the Sales and Marketing Systems team.

Why did you decide on the Information Science MPS program?

After finishing my BS in Information Science, I felt that continuing onto an MPS would be a great way to build upon the foundation, through classes as well as my MPS project.

What do you feel were the most important things you learned, courses you took, or skills you gained?

I gained a really well-rounded understanding of technology - from the design to the implementation to how it affects society.

What skill/tool you are currently using that you took away from the program.

I work very closely with designers and engineers, and my project-based courses and extracurriculars were incredibly useful in preparing me for this. Some of my most useful courses were the web development courses, game design courses, and HCI courses.

What advice would you give to a current or incoming student in our program?

Take the “scary” project-based and technical classes - the knowledge and experience you'll gain from them will be really valuable later! I learned a ton from the ones I did take, but I wish I had taken more.

Below is the profile Zach completed while he was an Undergraduate Major in InfoSci through CALS.

Affiliation: Information Science Undergraduate, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Class of 2014
Hometown: Long Island, NY

Why did you choose Cornell?
I chose Cornell for a number of reasons, but academics were definitely a primary one. I knew that I wanted to study technology, but I also knew that I didn’t want to spend my four years of college focusing on programming. Instead, by choosing CALS at Cornell, I am able to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of technology through Information Science, and I am able to learn about business management through my second major, Applied Economics and Management.

Why are you majoring in InfoSci? What is your concentration?
I love technology, but rather than studying computer science in depth, I wanted to get an understanding of the big picture. While I have enjoyed taking some programming courses, I also have enjoyed interdisciplinary courses like Networks and Human-Computer Interactions. My concentrations are Information Systems and Human-Centered Systems.

What other activities are you involved in around campus or around Ithaca?

I’m President of Cornell’s Information Science Student Association, and I’m a TA for INFO 1300: Introductory Design and Programming for the Web. I also co-founded a web and logo design company called Ithaca Innovation.

What has been your greatest moment or accomplishment so far at Cornell?
I was recently hired to intern at Apple next summer!

What do you like about living in Ithaca?
I love living in Ithaca. Cornell’s campus is beautiful, but I also like getting off campus and exploring other parts of Ithaca like the Commons.

How do you make it work financially?
As a New York resident, the in-state CALS tuition definitely helps!

What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to work for a tech company, and do web development or project management. Some day, I hope to build my own tech startup.

What would you recommend about this program to potential students who are thinking about majoring in InfoSci?
Explore your interests! Take a CS class, or learn to code at codecademy.com. Start thinking about design and read The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman.

Have you done any InfoSci related internships or projects with companies?
Last summer, I interned at GE Transportation in the Information Technology Leadership Program.