Kurt A. Wondra, '09
Major / Minor: Major in Information Science with a minor in Computer Science
Organization: Skyline Technologies
Job Title: Software Engineer
Why did you choose to go into your program of study?
I've always enjoyed technology and found it fascinating just how powerful it really can be. At some point between my sophomore and junior year of college I dediced that technology shouldn't just be a hobby of mine but that since I was so passionate about it, I should turn it into a career. Let's just say I'm really glad I made that decision.
When you began at UW-Green Bay, what did you expect for your future?
To be honest I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started college. At that point, I knew I wanted to grow my knowledge base, gain some new experiences (whatever they might happen to be), and to earn a degree. I thought that I could figure out the specifics after I was enrolled for a couple of semesters. I knew I wanted "the college experience"; I wanted the chance to find what I was really interested in and I wanted to find a solid starting point for the rest of my career related to those interests.
Did you have a job/internship in your field while going to college that helped spark your interest?
I had a couple of real world opportunities to be involved in the information technology realm. First, I was a member of the Geek Squad for a couple of years helping to fix a wide array of home computer issues. Through that opportunity I learned that I really enjoyed helping people and working with them to find a solution that would fit their needs. Later, I left Geek Squad to pursue an Information Services Internship with KI - Kreuger Internation in Green Bay. This was my first corporate experience in IT and I gained valuable experiences in many aspects. Some of which include, but are not limited to, fielding help desk calls, escalating tickets/internal issues, data backup procedures, remote desktop assistance, networking (including corporate VPN assistance), software migration efforts (Lotus Notes to Mirosoft Exchange), and several others.
What were you involved in while a student at UW-Green Bay?
Outside of my schoolwork and employment activities I stayed involved in intermural sports, working out at the Kress Center (before it was remodeled to be as nice as it is now), and typically taking advantage of Career Services' events (job fairs, ettiquette dinners, etc.).
Where are you currently employed? Please describe your position.
I'm currently employed as a Software Engineer with Skyline Technologies. I work as a consultant for whichever client I am paired up with. You can think of me as a general IT consultant with a vast number of varying roles and responsibilities. As my title indicates I do write computer code in the overall effort of developing and/or enhancing computer applications but I've also been entrusted to handle Project Managment tasks (organizing what work is to be done, determine deadlines, report status to the business, etc.), a small amount of Business Intelligence work (finding trends in my client's data, making predictions based upon that data, etc.), as well as anything else that I can help out with for a given project. In general, my true role is to serve as a "solution-ist" for my clients; not to just write code for the sake of writing code and not to just report statuses to the business to keep them informed but rather to provide a total solution to help in effort to help them solve whatever business need they have. Skyline's tagline is "Credible people, credible solutions, incredible results"; that's what I strive for.
How do you keep in contact with other alumni?
Most of the alumni I keep in contact with were my friends also going through their college careers at the same time I was. I simply keep in contact with them through all of the well-known social media avenues. In addition to that, Career Service's events that I am generously invited to provide me the ability to meet other alumni which I may never have had the chance to meet otherwise.
What advice would you have for a student wanting to enter your field?
Find your passion and always be eager to learn more. Passion is very important in a career. We all know people who are not very involved in their jobs/careers and their attitudes clearly show it. Why put yourself through that? Determine what really excites you, try to find the kind of activities that you really enjoy and then make a career out of it. You might as well enjoy what you'll be doing for around 40 hours each week. Secondly, never stop learning. Every day the world seems to get busier and busier and even more difficult to keep up with. Knowing that, I hope students today realize that they should always strive to learn more about whatever they have a passion for. If you're not moving forward by continuing to learn and gain experience then you're just standing still; and in today's environment "standing still" is essentially the equilivant to "moving backwards". Don't be scared to make mistakes and to put yourself out there; that's the best way learn.
Can we share your e-mail address on our website/can career services give it out to students inquiring about a job in your place of employment/field?
Yes you may. Please provide them with KWondra@SkylineTechnologies.com
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