Courtney Burkett recently started her second year as a graduate student in our Online MS in Information Systems program. She received her BS in Visual Communication with a Motion Graphics track from Stevenson University in 2012. She took time to answer questions about how she got interested in cybersecurity as a career, gives advice to prospective students, and how she gets to travel the world playing professional football!
Information Systems: What made you decide to attend UMBC’s Online MS program?
Courtney Burkett: I chose the Online MS program because it fits in with my busy schedule and budget. I work full time here at UMBC and I am able to communicate with my professors and classmates during work hours.
Information Systems: Why did you decide to pursue the cybersecurity specialized track?
Courtney Burkett: I want to learn more about cybersecurity and how it relates to our everyday lives. Computers and technology are a big part of our daily routines – all of that information can be compromised if we don’t take the correct precautions. I am passionate about technology and am interested in seeing how the inner-workings of cybersecurity helps create a better and safer environment.
Information Systems: How did you first get interested in the tech field?
Courtney Burkett: I started working in the Helpdesk at Stevenson University my sophomore year. I needed a part-time job to pay tuition and life costs. I had always been interested in computers and I quickly realized that I enjoyed combining my love for computers and helping others.
Information Systems: You are currently the Desktop Support Coordinator at UMBC, what is your favorite part about the position and working at UMBC?
Courtney Burkett: Every day has the potential to be different. I work with a bunch of people from all departments – HR, Athletics, Psychology, etc. I’ve met some great people along the way and learned something from each of them.
Some of the issues that come through our office doors are hard to figure out, and I enjoy the challenge of resolving them. I like being able to solve people’s problems when they are in a stressful situation, and acting as a resource for the future. This develops relationships. The community here at UMBC is supportive and inclusive of those wanting to take the next step forward.
Information Systems: What advice would you give prospective students thinking about pursuing an MS in Information Systems?
Courtney Burkett: Make sure you have the time in your schedule to dedicate to homework and research – that is the biggest thing. Some may think that graduate studies online are easier than traditional classes – that is definitely not the case. Deadlines have to be met for assignments and discussion board posts, just like regular assignments.
Information Systems: What do you like to do in your free time?
Courtney Burkett: I play football! I am about to start my 8th season as the starting center for the Baltimore Nighthawks, a professional women’s tackle football team in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA). I also play social and competitive flag football. I spend a lot of time traveling around the world playing football and I love it.
I coach softball at Roland Park Country School and play softball myself in the spring and fall. I enjoy reading, video games, and spending time with my dog and friends when I have time to sit still.
Football images courtesy of Hugh Scott/HasMat3 Photography