Alumni Perspective: Zachary Schwartz

Degree and graduation year: Master of Professional Studies in Information Sciences, 2014

Current hometown: Charleston, South Carolina

Current career and workplace: Information Systems Analyst, City of Palmetto, Florida

What does a typical workday look for you?
Wake up, get coffee, start making breakfast, wake up baby, finish cooking and eat breakfast with family, get baby ready for school, see wife and baby off, get more coffee, log in to work, answer emails, probably have a morning meeting, organize/run various analysis, put out fires/possibly create a few, lunch, same analysis and firefighting all afternoon, go pick up baby, make/feed baby dinner, play/read/watch Sesame Street, work with wife to get baby showered and ready for bed, read bedtime stories to baby (usually something Star Wars related), try to find energy to make dinner for wife and myself, sit down to work on Penn State stuff, hopefully get to bed at a decent hour.

How did you get into the field you currently work in?
Anthropology led to archaeology, which led to GIS (geographic information systems), which led to information sciences.

How has Penn State World Campus impacted your career?
Penn State broadened my knowledge base, allowing me to move from a single area of information systems into the wider world of information sciences. My master’s from Penn State also gave me the ability to be selective about my employer and the position, letting me choose what would be best for my family and me.

What were some challenges you faced when you were a Penn State World Campus student? How did you overcome these challenges?
One of the more challenging aspects of life as a Penn State World Campus student is making and dedicating time to completing course work. I overcame this by having a dedicated space, my home office, for study, where I would close my door and avoid distractions. Then it was just a matter of enjoying the course work and finishing what I needed to accomplish.

How do you stay connected with Penn State?
I’m constantly in contact with someone from Penn State. Currently, I am an adjunct instructor, an Alumni Ambassador, and I am on the World Campus Alumni Board.

What advice would you give to current Penn State World Campus students?
You get out what you put in. When you can, go beyond the basics and dive deeper into what really interests you. The internet is an almost endless source of information. Use it wisely.