DANBURY, Connecticut — Daniel Vincent is a man with a twinkle in his eye and a quick smile. Growing up in Ansonia, he had limited opportunities and guidance, so he spent his middle school and high school years at a military academy in Virginia. Now, as he prepares to graduate from Western Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems – Information Security Management, the 25-year-old Dean’s List student looks forward to a job that begins this summer in Technology Risk at Ernst & Young in Stamford where he’ll oversee software security, account privileges and more.
Vincent attributes a lot of his success to the time he spent at WCSU. “I initially enrolled at UConn to study engineering, and I didn’t love it,” he said. “I took some time off, then transferred to WCSU and decided to study MIS. What I found when I got here was that WCSU is all about fostering relationships between students and professors. There is a very close connection with the staff, and a lot of people here have helped me.”
The examples of who helped Vincent, and how, are plentiful.
“My academic adviser, MIS Professor Dr. Emilio Collar, is one of the best advisers and professors I’ve worked with,” Vincent explained. “He cares for the students and his methodology is helping students be successful. MIS Professor Dr. Tom Yoon taught me the most important information, including understanding the Internet model and how routers and IT applications work, and MIS Professor Dr. Richard Montague’s senior-level classes were great for getting us ready for the real world. The systems analysis textbook he gave us is so great and something I will continue to refer to throughout my career. He also pushed me to do more and believed in me.”
Those who invested their time, support and interest in Vincent weren’t limited to faculty in his major, he said, listing professors from Finance, Marketing and Economics who made a positive impression. Because the MIS degree is housed in WCSU’s Ancell School of Business, Vincent had access to a wide variety of classes to supplement those in his major.
Another resource Vincent cited was the university’s Career Success Center. “Kathleen Lindenmayer and Christine Hoy in the Career Success Center helped me get my resume all set and my LinkedIn right,” he said. “The free suits I wore to my interviews came from them, and coupled with all of the coaching materials they provided, it propelled me forward to be successful in my interviews.”
As he prepares for Commencement in less than a week, Vincent is excited about what his future holds. He’s grateful for the part-time IT job he has held in the university’s Westside Computer Lab; for the internship he had last year at LNI Swissgas in West Hartford, which showed him a glimpse of the real world and built his confidence for his MIS career; and for his current job maintaining the website, social media and working on other ESG tech projects at Planet .ECO LLC in Stamford.
When asked what he’d tell high school students from Ansonia about his experiences at WCSU, Vincent was quick to come up with a list. “It’s a great school that has everything you need to be successful,” he said. “It’s affordable and you will leave with very little debt; you won’t ever get lost here because the faculty-student ratio is so good that there will always be someone for you to talk to or get help from; and Danbury is a great place, location-wise, because it’s close to New York City and anything else you might need.”
Vincent added, “As a first-generation American from a Haitian family, I would also tell people that they will make a lot of great friends at WCSU because it’s diverse and you will always feel like you belong. And if your path to a degree isn’t linear or you stop along the way, get back on the path and finish. Learn a lot, get your degree and get out into the work world. Keep pushing and don’t give up.”
Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.