From Summer Camper to Computer Science Student
Nicholas Cariello (B.S. ‘18) first stepped foot on the NYIT-Long Island (Old Westbury, N.Y.) campus 10 years ago as a summer camper. “I attended Camp Horizon here. Little did I know I would come back 10 years later to attend college!” he said.
Today, Cariello has his sights set on a career in computer science. As a student in the Accelerated Path to Master’s Degree program he already received his B.S. and is now pursuing his master’s degree. “I had such a wonderful experience in my undergrad years, I cannot wait to see what my graduate degree has in store,” he said.
As an undergraduate student, Cariello immersed himself in his studies and made a point of getting involved in activities on campus. “At first, college was pretty intimidating, but you quickly make friends and find your crowd,” he said. “Networking and keeping the communication flowing is what drives success.”
Under the guidance of Nada Anid, Ph.D., vice president of strategic communications and external affairs and former dean of NYIT School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, Cariello landed a summer internship with IBM. “I am working on a project to increase awareness for the cybersecurity IQ of the entire internal company, which is made up of more than 400,000 employees,” explained Cariello. “Internally, there are cybersecurity policies that need to be followed by every employee at IBM. With that being said, many employees have questions about these policies. I am working on a project to better support these types of questions and provide users with immediate responses.”
In his role, Cariello has the opportunity to present his work to vice presidents and directors at the company. “It has been such an enriching experience.” And there’s more to come at IBM: His supervisors have been so impressed with his performance they offered to extend his internship.
“I would absolutely love to pursue this career path,” he said. “Cybersecurity is such a new frontier in the world today. We are constantly under fire with new threats and risks. Working at IBM is to be at the forefront of this fight, actively working to protect IBM sensitive data. For example, source code, user information, and extremely confidential documents.”
Cariello may be gaining hands-on experience at a global company, but the graduate student is also excited to return to class in the fall. “I am looking forward to honing my skills in computer science and learning more about the fundamentals and theories that go with it,” he said.
And he said he has his professors to thank for encouraging him to strive for greatness. “Dr. Michael Nizich, Ph.D., is an incredible professor. He really woke me up in my first class,” Cariello recalled. “I was suddenly working on bigger projects and exploring grander ideas. It was through this relationship that I was able to obtain a position as a software developer with a startup company last year.”
As Cariello forges ahead, he also takes a moment to offer advice to incoming students: “Get involved. NYIT has some amazing clubs doing some really cool stuff, especially in engineering. College can be overbearing at times, but at the end of the day, when you’ve got your friends and colleagues to lean on, it makes all the difference.”