Steven Papendorf '20

Major: Information Technology
Minor: Management and Leadership

Why this major?

Information technology has always been a passion, aptitude and interest of mine. I enjoy learning about and working with the professional, innovative and creative applications of technology in various environments. The breadth, versatility and applicability of information technology allow it to be the perfect combination of science and art. While IT is largely methodical and diagnostic in nature, creativity and artistry certainly have a place in IT as well.

What is your career objective?

Currently, working in either technological innovation, research and development or independently as a consultant is my ultimate career goal. Innovation, R&D and consulting generally allow for a variable range of project-based work that permits and promotes the use of various skills and continual learning.

How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?  

In a time when a large amount of knowledge can be self-taught and gathered from various Internet sources, I find that there is truly no substitute for a traditional and personal Carroll education. Because many of the program faculty come from various occupations and experiences in the IT industry, classes and lectures often go far beyond theory and effectively teach the best practices for real-world scenarios. Since a considerable amount of IT knowledge is gained from experience, the ability to personally learn from the experiences of knowledgeable industry professionals is an advantage that is difficult to achieve from other learning sources.

Have you had opportunities to work closely with Carroll faculty?

Small class sizes make opportunities to develop relationships and work closely with faculty to be truly endless. In all of the programs I've been a part of, from IT, to photography, to aviation science, I have had the distinct privilege to learn from, become close with and work closely with most of the faculty members I have come to know. In most instances, these relationships resulted in individual instruction and assistance with personal projects. These opportunities and relationships not only define the Carroll community and Pioneer experience, but build a Carroll education to be something truly unique.

What is the most memorable experience you’ve had in your education at Carroll?

When I think of college or university, I don’t initially associate field trips with lectures or common class activities. However, that’s beginning to change. So far, I have taken three classes in which I've gone on more off-campus excursions than I went on in all of primary and high school combined. While some outings were only to Walmart, others were to air traffic control towers and some of the most advanced photo studios in the area.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person?

Even with a major in information technology and a minor in management and leadership, I find I have more than enough time to pursue other interests in photography and aviation science. Though I don't have time to major or minor in everything that I’m interested in, the ability to take classes outside of your core major and within areas of interest helps achieve a more balanced education and broader experience.

What would you say to someone considering information technology?

I find that no other university offers a cultivated IT degree like Carroll. The program allows its students to simultaneously pursue other academic interests, is taught by exceptional faculty and establishes a sense community.

How has financial aid made a difference in your life?

The majority of my Carroll education is paid for by Carroll scholarships and grants. Financial aid provided by Carroll and Carroll Donors helps make a Pioneer education and experience obtainable and affordable. It is safe to say that Carroll financial aid has made all the difference in my academic life by eliminating fiscal stress, allowing me to focus on my education.

What’s your favorite place to study on campus?

Out of all the places on campus, Doug and Nancy Hastad Hall and Michael and Mary Jaharis Science Laboratories are among my most favorite places to study. New to Carroll University, these areas are modern, functional and well equipped for students.

Learn more about the Information Technology program

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