Cybersecurity student Victoria Bartlett’s ’23 greatest challenge as an adult learner was assimilating into an entirely new technical and social culture.
“It was weird to have classmates who already had three years of coding experience as first years. Smartphones were just becoming popular when I graduated from high school. Terms like STEM just weren’t a thing then,” she says. “I was also used to working with people of all different ages and being in a leadership position, so it was strange to come back to square one.”
After high school, Bartlett planned on majoring in accounting. Not being able to see herself in that career long-term, she unenrolled before her first semester and began working at a local supermarket. It was here that she discovered her passion for coding after she was asked to write a piece of code to calculate a special profit metric. Eager to find a career where she could utilize this talent, she enrolled in Gannon’s cybersecurity program in 2019 at the age of 25.
Gannon has many resources in place to help adult learners thrive. The Returning to Education Adult Program lounge, located in the A.J. Palumbo Academic Center, served as a comfort to Bartlett. Equipped with convenient everyday amenities, the lounge offers a place to study, socialize and connect with other non-traditional students.
“The REAP lounge is a wonderful place for me to get some studying done in a quiet setting on campus, especially as a commuter,” Bartlett says.
Bartlett is currently working as an intern for Erie Insurance. Once she graduates, she will work there full-time as part of the 2-year IT apprentice program.