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April 25, 2016
By Lexi Ryan, media relations assistant
Internships and profession-based experiences at Northwest Missouri State University helped expose Hannah May to a variety of career possibilities. This week, she graduates from the University and will take her experiences to Target Corporation.
May, a native of Metamora, Illinois, will graduate cum laude with a double major in interactive digital media, emphasizing in computer science and new media. During her time at Northwest, she completed two internships with Gallup and another with Garmin.
May has driven to Omaha, Nebraska, every Saturday for the last two years to teach the Gallup GET HIP high school internship program. She teaches students about web development and they spend the semester working on a project. At the end, 10 high school students receive a paid internship sponsored by the entrepreneurship television program “Shark Tank.”
“The projects that these kids came up with is crazy. One of them is for sale on the app store from last year,” May said. “The fact that they’re in high school and sitting with me Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – I wouldn’t have done it, but it was cool to see them and see how they’ve grown.”
At Garmin, May worked in the customer care area as a business analyst, where she communicated between developers and the business.
At Northwest, May gained leadership skills as the president of the Association of Computing Mechanics for Women, a web assistant at Career Services and a teaching assistant. She was a member of Gamma Chi, Sigma Kappa, Order of Omega, DigEm and a National Science Foundation STEM scholar.
“Northwest has definitely brought me out of my shell and taught me to work with different types of people,” May said. “It made me more extroverted and willing to try things that I wouldn’t typically try.”
May arrived at Northwest with only a new media emphasis on her interactive digital media major. After a sorority sister took her to an Association of Computing Mechanics for Women meeting, May realized computer science was a more appealing career path and added the second emphasis.
May credits computer science faculty members Dr. Carol Spradling and Diana Linville for helping her develop networking opportunities at Northwest. May made her second trip to the Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas Women in Computing ((MINK WIC) conference in Kansas City, Missouri, last fall, and Spradling appointed her to be the moderator of a panel discussing jobs and internships.
“Having my sorority sister drag me to that and meeting Carol 100 percent changed how I was going about college,” May said. “I like to think Carol feels like family. I’ve spent many times crying in her office, or just hugs. She’s the best.”
May will start her career as a software engineer in the technology leadership program at Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis. She earned her interview with Target after serving as a moderator at (MINK WIC).
“Being able to be a teacher assistant at Northwest really helped, because I was able to learn the coding languages more in depth,” May said. “I don’t think if I went to another school my networking connections would’ve been as great.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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