Major: B.S. Computer Science
Future Plans: Create opportunities for students who are unsure about their future
Anthony Chamberlain knows something about squeezing the most out of the opportunities presented to him.
Chamberlain, a sophomore who is pursuing a degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Foundations at the IU School of Informatics and Computing, has enjoyed the support of a SoIC community that has kept him motivated and encouraged him to stay involved outside of the classroom. That support actually started before he ever arrived in Bloomington.
“I always planned on majoring in Computer Science,” Chamberlain says. “I had a different number of options with the colleges I applied for. It came down to a last-minute decision, and I was thinking about which degree would look better. There were a couple of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, but I felt like a degree from Indiana University would be the better degree. After looking into the SoIC and the different programs, I liked this one. I also had a mentor who brought me into the program.”
Chamberlain has been challenged by the coursework involved at the SoIC, but whenever he has felt his enthusiasm waver even a bit, someone has been there to pick him back up.
“It’s not an easy road to take being a Computer Science or Informatics major,” Chamberlain says. “It’s challenging to get through parts where I’m not motivated at all. I feel like talking to different professors – you can tell the professors care about you at the SoIC – they reach out to you. Being involved on campus helps. It keeps you motivated.”
He also has been impressed with the way the education at the SoIC is constantly shifting to stay on the cutting edge.
“Technology is constantly changing, and the professors that I’ve had have been very vital in making sure I get the best education possible,” Chamberlain says. “They make sure the information isn’t outdated. It’s constantly upgraded and evolving into better knowledge.”
Chamberlain, a northwest Indiana native who lives in Crown Point, also has been steered toward jumpstarting his career through his work with University Information Technology Services. Again, a mentor gave Chamberlain the motivation he needed to tackle the role.
“He thought it would be a good opportunity for me,” Chamberlain says. “After doing some research on UITS, I felt like it was a good way to get my foot in the door and give me a good head start on computer science. The job that I’m in now with UITS as a technology consultant prepares you. It’s a good job because it gives you a lot of on-the-job training, and it allows you to apply a lot of the knowledge that you gain in the classroom.”
Chamberlain has tackled challenges beyond the classroom. During his freshman year, he was approached to join the National Society of Black Engineers, which was starting a new chapter at IU. The organization, which is dedicated to the academic and professional success of African-American engineering students and professionals, seemed like a perfect fit for Chamberlain.
Chamberlain was elected vice president of the IU chapter, and he has used his position to build the NSBE’s presence on campus.
“With SoIC, we have been able to reach out to some different organizations and collaborate with them,” Chamberlain says. “We have been able to network with a lot of different professors because we have a lot of professors come in and work with us. We’ve been collaborating with the SoIC advisors at different events. We had a Headshots and Handshakes event, which was pretty good. It was a business development event. We’ve been able to do a lot within the community and the university as a whole. We have a number of different conferences and conventions, and I was chosen to go to the one in Anaheim, Calif. The SoIC funded it, and it gave us career opportunities and leadership development. It has been great networking.”
Chamberlain has big plans for the future of NSBE in Bloomington after being elected president of the chapter in mid-April. It could help lay the groundwork for his dream of becoming a small business owner who provides opportunities for others who find themselves in his shoes in the future.
“One of my main focuses for the presidency will be to increase membership, and I want to give back to the community,” Chamberlain says. “We’ve done a lot, but we can always do more.”