A Q&A with one of the 750 students who received a diploma Dec. 14 at UW-Stout:
Name: Samuel Wosika
Hometown: Forest Lake, Minn.
Major: Computer networking and information technology; minor in information security
Awards, honors: Chancellor’s Award 2017-2019
Why did you choose UW-Stout? I had always gravitated toward doing something that allowed me to be hands-on. This meant shop classes, soldering and rarely sitting at a desk for too long. When I toured UW-Stout, I saw the true hands-on nature of the curriculum. Students up from their chairs plugging in cables, building networks and interacting with each other. I knew at that moment I wanted to be one of those students.
What are the biggest obstacles you faced in earning your degree? The age-old question of “what do I want to do when I grow up” is one that I asked myself a lot before college. I knew of the industry I wanted to be in but was unsure of the focus I wanted my career to be. Especially within IT, there is a lot that one could do. This proved to be a challenging decision. Thankfully through classes and internships, I was able to learn what I like doing and what I could see myself in as a career.
What stands out among your college experiences? The presence of industry employers at UW-Stout actively looking to hire for internships and full-time roles. UW-Stout hosts a Career Conference each semester that brings in employers from throughout the U.S. This is an incredible opportunity for students to connect with employers. Also, the CNIT program hosts multiple organizations throughout the semester that are looking for candidates. I had three internships and gained some tremendous real-world experience.
What’s next? I am excited to be joining Cisco Systems in Raleigh, N.C., as an associate systems engineer. This position with Cisco has been my goal for many years, and I cannot wait to get started. Cisco was recently named the world’s best workplace. Without UW-Stout and the incredible people I have met throughout my time in college, I would not have the opportunity to work at such an amazing company.