Guidance for students

UIC CS graduate student Johnnalee Kutzke

What is right for you and what is expected of you are rarely the same thing. Instead of trying to find your passion or to fit someone’s narrative of what that means, know yourself, and follow what feels right.

Johnnalee Kutzke she/her
MS in Computer Science ’22

What is Break Through Tech Chicago?

Our mission is to prepare more college women (cis and trans) and nonbinary individuals with the education they need to succeed in the tech world. We are especially interested in supporting Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students who want to pursue careers in tech.

Academically, how do I get started?

Explore computer programming by taking CS 111, UIC’s introductory computer science course. No experience is required — in fact, CS 111 is designed specifically for people who have no background in technology. Through fun activities with lots of teamwork, you will learn a computer programming language called Python. Break Through Tech Chicago offers sections of CS 111 that are geared specifically for female and nonbinary UIC students who are just beginning to experiment with technology.

How do I major or minor in computing?

If you enjoy what you learn in CS 111, we recommend that you choose a tech-oriented major or minor. (You have five options at UIC!) Adding a major or minor to your academic program allows you to register for additional tech-related classes that build your knowledge and skills.

What is the second course that I take as a major or minor?

No matter which of the UIC majors or minors you choose, your second programming course will be CS 141. You may recall that in CS 111, you learn to program computers using a language called Python. CS 141 is very similar, but this time you learn a different programming language: C++. Curious what CS 141 is like? You can:

How can I prepare for a tech career?

Each year, Break Through Tech Chicago selects more than 100 UIC students for Sprinternships™. These three-week micro-internships provide a gateway to future work experiences, such as full-summer internships or post-graduation jobs.

For our Break Through Tech Chicago members, we have a LinkedIn group where we communicate opportunities we receive from companies and organizations that are looking to diversify their workplaces by hiring more female and nonbinary staff members.

What if I have further questions?

The Break Through Tech Chicago team is here to answer your questions and help you map out a path forward. Let us know what’s on your mind. Book an appointment below.

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