UT Tyler Soules College of Business
Degree/Degrees: BS, Computer Science
Year of Graduation: 2017
Tell us a little about you.
Hi! I’m Morgan. I grew up in East Texas on a small farm and attended UT Tyler after earning my Associate’s degree at Trinity Valley Community College. While at TVCC, I participated in the Community College Aerospace Scholars program and interned at NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility as a Software Engineering Intern. I originally majored in computer information systems at UTT, but after my advisor recognized my proclivity for mathematics I switched to computer science. Once I graduated, I began working at IBM as a software developer, eventually became a Customer Success Manager, and I finally landed as a Senior Technology Engineer in the Client Engineering department. Today, I am considered a chatbot expert within IBM and am the proud dog mom to two rescue dogs, Apollo (12) and Mr. Hubble (10), both rescued in East Texas.
What did you do right after graduating?
I immediately moved to Austin. As a matter of fact, I did not attend my graduation ceremony and left right after finals. Not that I would recommend that, but after spending 25+ years in East Texas I was ready for a change. I received my offer from IBM a few months before graduation, which was a welcome opportunity. I originally did not have IBM on my list of “top companies” that I wished to be employed with, but after 5 years I am happy to say that I made a great decision in applying. I also took a 3-week break and slept in most of those days.
Tell us about your current job and what you do.
I am a Senior Technology Engineer at IBM which is just a fancy way of saying that I build chatbots. In addition, I contribute to knowledge sharing and training other IBM’ers on how to build enterprise-ready virtual agent solutions.
How did your Soules College of Business degree help you with your current position?
My degree gave me the foundational technical knowledge that I needed in order to be ready on day one of my role to contribute.
What was your favorite Soules College of Business class and why?
I have three favorites: Social and Professional Issues in Computing (COSC 3315), Information and Knowledge Management (COSC 4315), and Ethical Hacking (COSC 4381). 3315 was interesting because it was not a typical computer science class where we learned some particular technology, but instead it taught us more about the broader impact of technology on our world. It was very fun! 4315 was one of my favorites because we learned about the inner workings of informational retrieval, and this has all been directly applicable to my current role at IBM. Finally, 4381 was obviously a favorite because who doesn’t want to learn how to hack?
Any Soules College of Business/ UT Tyler memories you would like to share?
I love to tell the story about the hackathon from the ethical hacking course. During the semester we learned about different types of security which includes physical security, such as locking your doors so an intruder cannot physically access your system. For the hackathon at the end of the semester we were tasked with attempting to take other team’s computers offline. As the time was running out, none of us had managed to accomplish our task. So I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to take the physical security concept to heart and walked over and unplugged one of the other team’s computers. Naturally, this led to the next group of participants bringing a nerf gun to guard their system. All in all it was a comical experience.
Were you involved in any student organizations while a student here?
Yes! I was the treasurer for our ACM chapter.
What advice would you give current Soules College of Business students?
Take advantage of the resources you have available to you, such as career services and student organizations. This is the time to develop your skills. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone!
What insight do you have for Soules College of Business students that are about to graduate on how to land their first job?
Don’t be afraid to apply for a job that you think you are underqualified for. The worst thing that can happen is you get rejected for that role, but then you can simply move on to the next one. No one expects students to know everything there is to know on day one of their job. Instead, always be open to learning.