It would seem that someone with “senior” in his job title wouldn’t need more academic credentials in his field, but senior systems analyst Frank Wayne is pursing a bachelor’s degree in information systems. His reason? “Technology is constantly changing.”
With all the educational options in the Chicago area, why did you choose Northwestern?
I was hired by Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) two years ago. My manager encouraged me to apply to SPS, and I jumped at the chance. I always wanted to go back to school, but I had never considered a school with the reputation of Northwestern, so ending up at SPS was a happy fringe benefit of my job.
How are you able to juggle all the parts of your life?
Work and personal obligations had interrupted my college education more than once, and now, with a one-year-old son, I would not be able to do this without the support of my wonderful wife, Marzena. Thanks to her, I have been able to really focus on the curriculum. I was even inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda honors society last spring.
You already have a successful career in IT. What are you getting from the classroom that you haven’t found on the job?
While I have a lot of experience in IT, technology is constantly — and sometimes radically — changing, and the roles of IT professionals are changing. In the old days, because computers were a hobby, you could develop a skill informally and have something to offer an employer. Today, an education with a perspective on the evolving IT landscape is more important than ever. I have been fortunate to work with leading technologies for years, but the SPS program has introduced me to many novel ones. The program is making a real effort to anticipate new technologies and incorporate them into the curriculum.
What do you especially appreciate about the instruction at SPS?
The professors allow for the skill level of each student and challenge those of us who already work in the field. I also have many interests outside of IT and have taken great pleasure in photography, astronomy and English classes. I’m impressed by the faculty’s breadth of experience and how earnestly they approach teaching.