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Diversity alumnus spotlight: Roshonda McCowan

Roshonda McCowan, BS IT '11, says working in the Engineering Student Services and participating in MU Engineering's study abroad programs were invaluable experiences to her college career. She has taken the lessons learned from MU and applied them at her first post-graduation job for Kansas City Power & Light and with the National Society of Black Engineers alumni chapter of Kansas City.

Roshonda McCowan, BS IT ’11, says working in the Engineering Student Services and participating in MU Engineering’s study abroad programs were invaluable experiences to her college career. She has taken the lessons learned from MU and applied them at her first post-graduation job for Kansas City Power & Light and with the National Society of Black Engineers alumni chapter of Kansas City.

The transition from being a college student to becoming an alumnus in the working world is made easier for some by keeping in mind the lessons learned in school. Since graduation, Roshonda McCowan has found plenty of ways to segue from her studies at the University of Missouri College of Engineering and responsibilities with some of the college’s student organizations.

McCowan earned her bachelor’s degree in information technology in December 2011. She is a programmer analyst for Kansas City Power & Light.

What have you done since graduation?

“Since I’ve graduated, I’ve moved to Kansas City and started my IT career at my first corporate company. I also joined the National Society of Black Engineers alumni chapter of Kansas City, where I hold the public relations chair.”

What do you wish you knew before graduation that you know now?

“Hard work, in the beginning, really pays off. I didn’t do so well my freshman year, and that caused me to scramble before graduating to pull my GPA to where I wanted to be.”

What is a favorite memory of your time at MU?

“I loved working in the Engineering Student Services Office. I got a chance to help out prospective students and enjoy good times with friends and coworkers.

Roshonda McCowan, third from right, poses with a group of fellow MU Engineering students during a study abroad trip to Paris in May 2011.

Roshonda McCowan, third from right, poses with a group of fellow MU Engineering students during a study abroad trip to Paris in May 2011.

“Being able to study abroad while in college was probably one of my best memories. It was the shortest and longest two weeks of my life, and it was simply amazing. We visited engineering companies and schools, toured the places you only hear about and had a great time while doing it. Some of the favorite memories from the trip were seeing the Eiffel Tower light show at night and getting lost — once in London and once in Paris.”

Editor’s note: McCowan participated in the MU Engineering study abroad trip to London/Manchester, UK and Paris in the Summer 2011.

What are your tips for current students?

“Network. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘It’s not what you know, but whom you know.’ I’ve come to find this very true. I learned a lot and studied hard in college, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the students, professors, co-workers and mentors who I met along the way.”