Graduate Student Profile - Alumni
Graduate Student Profile
Name: Dan Rotondo
Hometown: Surprise, New York
Prior Study: Siena College, Computer Science
Degree Sought: MS Information Technology
Concentration: Human Computer Interaction
Department: Information Technology and Web Science
Year of Graduation: 2012
Current Position: Software Engineer at Cisco Systems (started March 2013)
Why did you choose to enroll at Rensselaer?
Growing up near Rensselaer, I’ve always heard about its excellent reputation for being a great college. While searching for a Master’s program, one of the things that stood out to me about Rensselaer was the application-based courses they offered. The Masters in IT program has a strong emphasis on real world application learning, which is exactly what I was looking for. In addition, the program had a plethora of different concentrations to choose from. All these different options allow you to explore different parts of IT and find out what you ultimately want to do in your career.
What are some benefits of being part of the Graduate Community at Rensselaer?
One of the greatest benefits of being part of the Graduate Community at Rensselaer is what seems like an endless amount of opportunities to go and do projects or research in something that interests you. Having an interest in mobile application design and development, I was able to find a group of students with diverse backgrounds that was making a social campus activity/tour application. I gained valuable experience working with a team, being a team leader, and created excellent relationships with fellow students and the Rensselaer Alumni Association, who was funding our project. In addition, the entire community at Rensselaer is always willing to help out with anything from helping out with making your schedule to connecting you with potential employers.
What would you tell a prospective student about choosing Rensselaer?
The Masters in IT program at Rensselaer provides a unique experience that has various areas in IT to focus on and provides extremely valuable real world experience. The professors at Rensselaer are leaders in their areas of study and provide great insight on the various fields of IT. Rensselaer has a very positive and inspiring culture to it and this definitely rubs off on the students to do amazing things in their careers.
Describe your graduate project and its purpose/applications?
For my graduate project in the IT Capstone course, I was able to work on a real issue for a real client, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD). Our 5 member team worked closely with employees from BD to go over the problem, requirements, and more. The entire experience was a great and helped me sharpen team work and management skills. In addition, the cases we did in class often involved companies that many of us were working with.
What did you decide to do after graduation?
After graduation I went to work for Cisco Systems in San Jose, CA. After multiple offers, I decided to go with Cisco due to the great experience I had during my internship. Getting my MS degree in IT at RPI had a sizable impact on getting this opportunity with Cisco.
What are your hobbies/interests/special talents?
I love to watch and play many different sports including hockey, football, basketball and soccer. I also enjoy digital photography, hiking, playing guitar and creating/designing web applications
List Information about your background and accomplishments in College and Work Experience
At Siena College, I studied Computer Science and received a minor in Multimedia. During my time there I had several internships including Web Administrator for the Siena College Athletic Department and Web/Software Application Developer for Gavant Software. I was a Teaching Assistant for the IT and Web Science department during my first two semesters at Rensselaer. I was also able to have an internship my first year at Rensselaer with The Ayco Company (a Goldman Sachs Company). During the summer before my third and final semester at RPI, I interned at Cisco Systems. Lastly, for my last two semesters at RPI I worked on the Recon Rally project and was the team leader my last semester.
Teaching Assistant at IT and Web Science Department, RPI August 2011 – May 2012
RPI School of Science Poster-Palooza (Recon Rally project) – Spring 2012