Student Spotlight: Akvile Kiskis
Computer and Information
Akvile Kiskis decided it would be beneficial to turn her hobby into a career.
“I’ve always had an interest in computers. I love tinkering around with them and I always wondered how they worked,” she said.
Kiskis selected College of DuPage, realizing it to be a smart first step toward her goals.
“I’m extremely blessed to have one of the top-ranked community colleges in the nation five minutes away from my house,” she said. “When I first visited College of DuPage to talk to advisers, it was difficult for me to find my way around with the renovation that had taken place. My mother and I walked into an office and asked for help, and the admin stood up and showed us the way. She was so willing to help me out, even though I hadn’t even enrolled in any classes yet!
“As I roamed the halls, I noticed many billboards for different clubs and activities. I later found out that there are over 60 student clubs, so I knew I was bound to find at least one that I liked. I love the idea of clubs because it lets students build friendships with people who share the same interests.”
She also received a Presidential Scholarship, which provides free tuition for two years to high-achieving students.
“Every penny counts when you’re saving money for college. Also, I was automatically enrolled in the Honors program, which gave me more of a challenge with my studies,” she said. “What’s great is that many of these professors worked at four-year universities, so they teach at that level.”
Kiskis is currently at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the co-terminal program, which will allow her to complete a master’s degree in five years instead of six. As a result, in 2019, she will earn a Master in Cyber Security and Forensics and a Bachelor in Information Technology and Management. While at IIT, she received a scholarship to attend the Women in Cyber Security Conference in Arizona.
During her final year of study, Kiskis will work on campus as a communications and social media assistant. After graduation, she will go overseas and into the foreign service.
“There is a new fellowship program with the Department of State called the Foreign Affairs IT (FAIT) fellowship, which I applied for and received an offer!” she said. “I just completed my first domestic internship with the department and next summer, I will have an internship overseas at a U.S. embassy. After this, I will go into the foreign service for five years as an Information Management Specialist (IMS).”
While at IIT, Kiskis is also starting a student chapter of WiCyS (Women in Cyber Security).
“My goal is for it to be a hands-on student chapter to get women interested and empowered to pursue a career in cyber security or tech in general,” she said. “We’re going to participate in the National Cyber League and I have a cyber security escape room planned for the chapter as well.”
Kiskis advises any student to come to College of DuPage and either schedule a tour or just wander around campus to get a feel for the school.
“Many people assume that community college means you’ll receive less of an education than if you went to a four-year college,” she said. “College of DuPage strives to prove this stereotype wrong with its modernized buildings and stellar professors. I attended College of DuPage because it allowed me to grow and learn not only as a student but also as a person.”
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137
(630) 942-2800 (Main)
(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)
2018 College of DuPage