Bronco Spotlight: Alexander Walter
IT TSS at Kellogg’s
My position at Kellogg’s started with accepting an internship offer at the end of my sophomore year. The internship gave me an opportunity to explore even more technical areas of the information technology space like AI and cloud computing. At its conclusion, I was offered a part-time position during the next two years of my studies. I graduate in April 2019, and have accepted a full time offer working there upon finishing my studies. Over the last two years I have worked on multiple special projects with three different teams, directed a pilot group to test new technology, and upgraded network/VOIP hardware and software in plants and sales offices all around America.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
In IT, you can never stop learning. There is such a fast rate of innovation with technical service offered that you cannot simply 'get comfortable' with a single piece of technology and expect a world-class level of service. You have to always be looking for the 'next big thing', the 'next big innovation', and that means even looking in unconventional areas from time to time. This aspect of my career is definitely both challenging and rewarding, but my biggest reward comes from my direct work with employees in other disciplines at Kellogg’s. Part of working IT at a large, non-IT based company is that you must be able to make anyone comfortable with the technology you provide, and those interactions/workshops are my favorite part of the job.
If you had a campus job or internship, how did they impact your career development?
I worked at the Zhang Career Center starting the summer after my freshman year. I was a great introduction to learning the soft skills needed to succeed in any form of business. My boss, Bob Stewart was of paramount importance to my success, often acting as a mentor through my professional and personal questions over the years.
What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?
If you are interested in IT, the CIS majors at WMU are a great way to build a basic understanding of what you will need to succeed in the field after graduation. The BIS Department chair was one of the first people I met at Western (on a tour), and he sold me on the school after being so willing to discuss what I wanted from my education. My advice is to not be wary approaching faculty, and to use student resources (like the Zhang Career Center) to your advantage.