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Will SmithWill Smith ‘20

Cyber Security
Austin, TX

UTSA was an easy decision for Will Smith. He wanted to be taught by the best and knew that UTSA is #1 in the nation for Cyber Security. Coming in as a freshman, he worked hard and developed new business skills that would later help him succeed at a Fortune 500 company. Now a senior, Will graduates this spring and has already landed a job as an information security engineer at Mastercard’s Global Operations Center in Missouri.

“Experiences outside the classroom are what make UTSA special. Step outside your comfort zone. The business school exposed me to opportunities that transformed my life.”

Have you always been interested in technology?

Yes, I had an interest since I was in third grade. Early on, I had a passion for using my tech knowledge to make people’s lives better and help them achieve their goals. By fourth grade, I formed my own tech company to help individuals and businesses solve digital problems.

How did you find your internship?

I reached out to the Vice President of Corporate Security Operations at Mastercard, because I was interested in growing tech companies. She was impressed with my LinkedIn profile and connections. After a 17-minute phone conversation, she offered me the first internship ever in her department. I took advantage of every career development opportunity, including the Center for Student Professional Development offered to business students. By the time I had my Mastercard interview, I felt prepared and knew what to expect.

Tell us about your internship experience.

I was offered an internship for the Summer of 2018 in Corporate Security Operations. I learned early on that it was a unique experience. I was tasked with building a data analytics platform that would help protect Mastercard’s assets. I returned in the summer of 2019 as a second-year intern where I managed 11 other interns to create a new financial services app for a competition—we won first place! I used numerous skills
that I picked up from my UTSA College of Business courses and saw immediately how my major connected to real-life, on-the-job experiences.

What is your advice for Future Roadrunners?

Get involved early on and explore your passions by defining your short- and long-term goals. College is what you make of it, and you will get out what you put in. Build your network and connect with high-level people in whatever field interests you. Then when opportunity knocks, answer the door!