Pitt2Pitt Profile: Camilo Correal

Upon coming to Pitt as an undergrad, Camilo Correal wanted a career change. He had been working at a bank for the past 10 years and realized he wanted to work with kids instead. Majoring in English writing with a certificate in children’s literature in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to become a teacher or librarian. Correal completed a work study in the Barco Law library, where he grew interested in librarianship, and decided to become a children’s librarian in the public library system.

Correal is now a first-year student in the School of Computing and Information’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program, and a member of the inaugural class of Pitt2Pitt scholarship recipients. Awarded to graduating Pitt seniors and other recent alumni, Pitt2Pitt assists in a student’s pursuit of a graduate or professional degree with up to $5,000 in scholarships. SCI offers scholarships within the Master of Science of Information Science, MS in Telecommunications and MS in Computer Science programs in addition to MLIS.

Regardless of the program, students will earn a degree from the university they already know and love. Correal says he wanted to stay at Pitt for his graduate degree, but with the scholarship and encouragement from advisers and professors, he knew he made the right decision.

“Pitt was always my first choice, but Pitt2Pitt really helped with that — the process of being able to talk to the teachers, the grad program advisers were always very open,” Correal says. “All of the resources at Pitt made it very easy to choose to stay at Pitt.”

His coursework may be different from that of his undergrad degree, but he appreciates people like Professor Elizabeth Mahoney who have helped acclimate him to SCI and the information science side of the degree. Amid this transition from undergraduate to graduate, he’s also grateful to not have to worry about a completely different university and its innerworkings.

“It took me, like, three years to really understand Pitt,” Correal says. “Trying to learn how the financial aid program works, talking to the advisers — just trying to use Canvas and the online boards while trying to get all that work done is just like an extra class for the first semester.”

Even without the change of coursework, this academic year is already unlike any other, since the coronavirus pandemic has rendered nearly all coursework online. The MLIS program typically offers classes in person or fully online, but Correal says the pandemic has not altered his study, as the instruction and assistance have still been excellent.

“While it’s been a strange semester, it’s also been a very rewarding experience,” Correal says. “I’m hoping the next couple are just as rewarding.”

Students interested in applying for the Pitt2Pitt program should contact sciadmit@pitt.edu. Scholarship applications for students starting in Spring 2021 are due December 10. Learn more about Pitt2Pitt.