Willie Jackson plans to change the world—through Information Technology (IT). “I want to leverage the power of information, technology, and relationships.”
He’s already begun his quest by preparing for the challenges ahead.
Selected from a pool of 23,000 applicants, Willie attended this past summer’s Monster Diversity Leadership Program, which is designed to help students develop career skills and network with top companies. He says, “It was an absolutely incredible experience I won’t soon forget.”
As co-founder and president of the FSU chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, a national IT organization, Willie, along with Matthew Lundy and Dr. Anthony Chow, co-hosted the recent inaugural event where Dean Larry Dennis and local business leaders delivered keynote addresses. The organization was created to bring students majoring in IT together, helping them to develop professionally.
One of the nation’s top minority internship organizations—INROADS—provides professional development opportunities for students at Fortune 500 companies, with full-time employment at graduation. For the past two summers, Willie has interned with Convergys Corporation in Jacksonville, working on three separate projects—Human Resources Direct, Employee Care IT, and Global Diversity. “I have been fortunate enough to see several sides of the business and to experience first-hand the organization’s culture.”
Willie has also served as the student representative for STARS Alliance: A Southeastern Partnership for Diverse Participation in Computing, an 11-university consortium that recently received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. This past summer, he helped facilitate a weeklong conference, where various mentoring, retention, and outreach strategies were addressed to combat the sharp decline of students enrolling in IT and Computer Science programs.
He’s begun to leverage the power of technology—by assisting those in need.
As part of his IT practicum course, he and his classmates assembled 35 desktop computers for the Governor’s Reading Literacy Program, delivering them to a South Florida organization in dire need. He has provided IT support for the past year to more than a dozen facilities of the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend. And last spring he served as the project manager of an IT support project for the Tallahassee Museum. His team performed maintenance and troubleshooting services for all computers on the Museum’s network.
After graduation, Willie begins working at Convergys Corporation, while also working on his master’s in Information Studies and outlining plans to create his own company.