School of Computing and Information sophomore Lydon Pelletier has a lot on her plate. Aside from her coursework in computer science, she also interns year-round with SAP — a computer software company — spends 10 hours a week as Travel Director for the Pitt Program Council (PPC), and attends weekly meetings for Women in Computer Science (WiCS). When asked how she juggles everything, her answer is simple.
“It just comes down to, you make the time for what you’re passionate about,” the Honors College student says. “School — I love to learn. With PPC, it’s really fun planning events for students. Then SAP is obviously a way to test the skills I learn in the classroom outside of the classroom. I love each of them in their own way. You just have to make the time for the things you like to do.”
As a student in Pitt’s class of 2023, Pelletier is part of the first cohort to apply directly to SCI and enroll in the school as a first-year student. Her coursework and experience outside of the classroom have shown her she wants to pursue opportunities at the intersection of technology and those who use it.
Pelletier says she plans to explore this interest during her internship placement with SAP, where she serves as a Student Training and Rotation Program (STAR) intern. The multi-year program, which she embarked on this past summer, allows her to spend a year in a different department, with her first rotation being in software development. Her next placement will put her in a sales role, allowing her to pursue that long-term goal of working in a human-oriented position.
As for how she found the job in the first place, Pelletier credits WiCS. The club hosted a networking event last year with an SAP supervisor, whom Pelletier got to meet with and learn about the company. She says networking events serve as just one of the many doors WiCS has opened for her and other students, in addition to fostering community and supporting more diversity in the field.
“We’re always encouraging each other, and I’ve met so many people through WiCS and those are the people I recognize in classes,” Pelletier says. “By being a woman in computer science, you find a community within that field because there aren’t as many.”
Beyond her computer science classes, Pelletier has laid the groundwork for a double major in Digital Narrative and Interactive Design (DNID). Through classes such as Composing Digital Media and Professional Uses of Social Media offered by Pitt’s Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Pelletier has broadened her understanding of how brands and companies use technology and media to connect with their constituents.
Her home at SCI has connected her to other interesting and beneficial classes, such as Analysis of Information Systems with Leona Mitchell, and introduced to her an invaluable resource in her adviser, Danielle Richardson. Whether it be rigorous course work or extracurricular activities, Pelletier says SCI is an excellent place for students to grow into professionals.
“There’s a lot of opportunities that SCI tries to make,” Pelletier says. “They’re always trying to improve and looking for student feedback.”