Stephanie Habib received a BS in Information Science through the College of Arts and Sciences in 2014. Today, she works as a programmer at a major toy and game company on the East Coast. In this latest Q&A with Info Sci alumni, Stephanie talks about why Information Science appealed to her as an undergraduate student, where her interests led her within the field, and what current IS students can do to get the most from their time at Cornell.
What are you doing now?
I am an Associate Applications Programmer at Hasbro in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Why did you decide to choose Information Science for your major?
I started my college career as a math major. After about two years I decided I did not want to continue in this major, so I began to look into other majors. I've always liked a lot of different subjects and disciplines – especially math and art – so as I was looking, the InfoSci major jumped out at me as a great interdisciplinary field that seemed to have a good mix of problem-solving with the technical and coding side and the artistic side of HCI/UI/UX design. Furthermore, a friend of mine was an IS major and loved it, so she was very eager to talk about it with me and encourage me to transfer. So, I made an appointment with Amy Sindone, and that sealed the deal. Amy was so helpful and available and knowledgeable that I decided to go for it. I knew I made the right decision after just one semester in my new major. I was loving my classes and very interested in them, which translated to my GPA skyrocketing and me being much happier at Cornell in general.
Did you feel you had a clear-cut goal either before or during the program?
No. I've always had a lot of different interests, which has always made it very hard for me to decide exactly what I want to do. And I am still figuring it out today. What I did know is that I enjoyed the HCI and technical tracks the most, so those became my focus, and I just took classes I thought were the most interesting.
What courses did you take that have helped you most in your career?
Web Programming 1 & 2 as well as the Java classes, since I am now doing web development.
What advice would you give to a current student in the program?
Definitely join the IS club. It is a great way to meet other people in your major and see the diversity of it. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice. Every staff member and faculty that is a part of the program was so nice and helpful with any questions I had about the major, career paths, or anything else. If you are thinking about going into Web Development, seek out clubs/businesses/etc. outside of class and make websites for them. Growing your portfolio is a huge help for finding a job after school, and you can learn a lot and help out the community.