The National Convergence Technology Center’s Convergence College Network (CCN) community is happy to showcase students in information technology by capturing their testimonials. This month we’re featuring Kristy Livingston, a Century College alumnus. Kristy attended Century in 2009 due to a job layoff: “When I started attending classes at Century College, I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I took a bunch of random classes to try to find out what kind of career I would be interested in,” Kristy said. However, when she ran across Computer Forensic, she discovered her passion. “I really, really enjoyed that class and found out that that’s really what I wanted to do with my career life. So, I jumped in full fledge and I graduated from that program about a year and a half.”
After graduation, Kristy applied for a position as a Criminal Analyst at Wisconsin Department of Justice. The newly graduate got this position, which she worked for a year and then proceeded on to work for the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office as a Forensic Examiner. The Forensic Examiner position included using a software application called EnCase; therefore, requiring her to obtain an EnCase Certified Examiner certification, which meant passing a written and a practical examine. She passed both examines and credited her passing to the skills which she learned while attending Century College along with the training the company provided. “I attribute a lot of my career success to Century College. Not only did we have a rigorous training program where I learned the skills that I needed to do my job, it also got me in touch with excellent faculty members who ‘til this day are still mentors of mine. I also have other students who I still reach out to and keep in contact with and it’s really helped me create a community for this career field that I’m in called Digital Forensic.”
If not for IT or being laid off, Kristy would still be providing customer service for a telecommunication’s company that she had already given six years to. Nevertheless, because of her IT degree, she has already accomplished her short-term goal, which was having a job right after graduation. “I probably would not have gone back to school, and I would have stayed at that customer service job. So, for me, it’s pretty easy that I would have just been in some customer service position that paid my day to day bills, that wasn’t a career that I really enjoyed.” Her long-term goal is to provide consulting to other organizations and assist them with data problems.
Currently, Kristy is a manager in information security at MoneyGram International in the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and has received her Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Forensics at Century College, Bachelor of Science (BS) in Digital Forensics and Investigations from Champlain College. Currently, she’s a graduate student at the University of MN pursuing a Master of Science (MS) in Security Technologies. Her advice to IT students, “Be teachable, work hard, solve problems and enjoy learning; apply for lots of jobs, it takes a lot of no’s to find your perfect yes; prepare for the job you want, or the opportunity will never find you.”