A group of budding high school scientists from Brooklyn spent the day earlier this month learning about their future in the technology field. It was a multi-faceted field trip, exposing students to the numerous paths they could take to enter the computer science industry.
The May 17 field trip started with a visit to the Con Edison energy company, introducing high school students from the Academy of Innovative Technology to such careers as cyber security, risk management, firewall appliance operations, forensics investigations and more. SJC Brooklyn upperclassmen in the computer science department joined the high school students on the trip.
At the Academy of Innovative Technology, students are exposed early to careers in technology. Students generally follow one of three tracks: web development, computer repair, or video game design.
Phillip Donohue, a web development teacher at AIT, said the trip to Con Edison sparked new curiosity in his students.
“It was good to see them exposed to something they didn’t see before,” Donohue said.
At Con Edison, Amy Batallones, the cyber security operations center manager, spoke with AIT and SJC Brooklyn students about her experiences in the tech world — specifically answering questions about her day-to-day responsibilities at the energy company. She stressed that not everyone on her team started college — or even their careers — with a goal of working in cybersecurity.
In fact, her team brings a plethora of experiences to the table. She works with people who have strengths in coding, writing policy procedure, computer science and project management.
“It’s more of a mindset you need to have,” Batallones noted.
After touring the Manhattan-based energy company, the pack of students returned to SJC Brooklyn for lunch and a tour of the Clinton Hill campus. Students from AIT had the opportunity to talk to current computer science majors, meet computer science professor Salim Arfaoui and listen to a brief presentation from the admissions department.