As a high school senior, Winnie Mutunga listened intently as a school speaker described a fulfilling career in cybersecurity. At home that evening, Mutunga researched the field. She’d recently begun her first computer programming class, in SPARK, and what she discovered thrilled her.
“The more research I did,” she says, “the wider the horizons began to become.”
She took every cybersecurity class available at her local community college and transferred to Pitt intending to focus on cybersecurity at the School of Computing and Information.
“Then I took a database programming class,” Mutunga says, “and that changed everything I knew about information science. I was so enthralled.”
She loved how database management combined with other information science fields. Soon she was learning everything she could about MySQL, experiencing the same thrill of curiosity she’d felt diving into cybersecurity.
Data analysis has since become another passion, leading Mutunga to rework her capstone project to one utilizing Python Data Analysis.
“I’m just as excited about cybersecurity and the intricacies of database management as I am about data analysis,” Mutunga says.
As a transfer student, Mutunga came to Pitt focused on earning her degree. But the wealth of resources and opportunities available forced her to stop and reimagine what was possible.
“I’m so glad I slowed down and looked and was curious,” she says. “I would have missed out on a whole world of opportunities. You’ll never have a time like this where you can ask so many questions and people will have answers.”