Greg McKibbin of Warren is taking advantage of some of the Pitt-Bradford's newest programs - computer information systems and technology and a new esports club.
Pitt-Bradford's computer information systems and technology program is one of the university's newer and fastest-growing majors. Pitt-Bradford started it to fill the need for workers with not only a strong knowledge of computers, but also of how that functions in business.
McKibbin came to Pitt-Bradford after a year-and-a-half at the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied computer science. The practical nature of the Pitt-Bradford program drew him to it.
“It's hands-on,” he said. “Anything that you learn in one of your classes is something you can use in the real world.”
McKibbin started putting those skills to work right away, working on an app for the University of Pittsburgh's student app challenge with classmate Joel Austin. The two took second place during McKibbin's sophomore year for an app that helped people find a practice partner for foreign languages.
Last summer, he worked as an intern at Cutco Corp., a knife manufacturer in nearby Olean, N.Y., that frequently hosts information systems interns from Pitt-Bradford. It worked out so well that he was able to turn it into a part-time job for the academic school year - helping to pay for college expenses and get more experience at the same time.
The skills he is learning and using at Cutco, where he works on a website used by sales associates in the fields and the administrative staff, were the partial inspiration for his senior capstone project. The other part of the inspiration came from McKibbin's role as president of the newly formed esports club team.
“Gaming gives me a chance to take a break from thinking in the same way,” he said. “It uses an entirely different skill set. It's fun thinking.”
His senior capstone project is to create a cloud-based system for the club that will allow the team to manage its schedule, calculate statistics for players and more, building skills he hopes will lead to a career developing projects for small businesses.