Erin McGovern feels fulfilled by her IST experience, prepared for her future

Alyssa Inman
December 13, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After three and a half years at Penn State, Erin McGovern is graduating this December. With two internships and a variety of extracurricular activities under her belt, her whirlwind college experience has fully prepared her for the future.

As a senior majoring in Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) with an emphasis in Information and Cyber Security, and an Information Sciences and Technology (IST) minor, McGovern has enjoyed endless opportunities on campus that have readied her to take the next steps in her career.

Earlier this semester, she attended the Grace Hopper Conference for Women in Technology in Houston, Texas, which brought together more than 12,000 women from all over the world to listen to different presenters and network with leaders in technology. McGovern’s favorite part about the conference was hearing Sheryl Sandberg, the author of her favorite book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” speak. “I think every girl should read ['Lean In'],” McGovern said.

Sandberg spoke about the different challenges women in technology face and how to overcome them. “It showed me that just because you are a woman doesn’t mean you can’t do what anyone else does. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be challenges,” McGovern said. “And in this landscape, our college really works on bridging that gap.”

Through Pro Expo and Future Forum, IST’s two annual career fairs, McGovern was given the opportunity to find two unique summer internships. “This was where IST really came into play and helped me so much,” she said.

In the summer of 2015, McGovern interned with Lowe’s at its corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, as an IT business analyst. By making the transition from Pearl River, New York, she learned about the internal IT infrastructure of a Fortune 50 company. McGovern said it was “the best experience ever.” This past summer, she interned for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ cybersecurity and privacy team in New York City.

McGovern brought her professional experiences back to Penn State through her campus involvement. She served as a learning assistant for the college and was an active member of the IST Diplomats, the college’s leadership group. Additionally, she was also a two-year member of the dancer relations THON committee and a sister in Alpha Chi Omega sorority. 

When thinking about future IST students, her advice is simple: “Don’t be afraid to get involved.”

“Make the most of your experiences in this college, whether you want to do research, whether you want to be a tutor, or whether you even want to join an IST IM sports team,” McGovern said. “You can really make whatever you want of it in this college.”

As she enjoys her last few days at Penn State, McGovern is considering job offers from several companies, but she plans to be in a consulting role after graduation.

“IST has given me so many opportunities that I don’t think I would have had the same experience had I chosen another major,” she said.

“Penn State was the best decision I’ve ever made. Thank you to the people who helped to lead me in this major. I feel prepared for the future.”

Last Updated December 14, 2016