Convocation Speaker, Fall 2019
Kelly Mitchell’s advice to new college students is to maintain a positive attitude, work hard and take advantage of opportunities to gain knowledge and skills in as many fields as possible.
The last of those recommendations is what led Mitchell to return to college after having already earned an undergraduate degree in business law with a minor in economics.
Not finding her job as challenging or rewarding as she had hoped, Mitchell followed the suggestion of a friend and took entry level computer networking classes — and found a new career aspiration.
Now, after earning a bachelor’s degree in information technology — with support from a Blowers Engineering Scholarship — Mitchell will continue studies for a master’s degree in the field through a Fulton Schools 4+1 accelerated graduate degree program while working as a cybersecurity engineering intern for Honeywell International.
In addition to her schoolwork, Mitchell joined the Nerd Herd, an ASU student information technology club. The organization enabled her to learn from industry professionals and figure out the specific area in her chosen field she wanted to pursue.
If she could develop a superpower to propel her toward career success, Mitchell says she would choose “the ability to see into the future,” and thus foresee network security vulnerabilities so she could effectively combat cyberthreats.
Mitchell also brings similarly big ambition to activities beyond school and job duties. She is an avid hiker and has her sights set on such treks as walking across the Grand Canyon from rim to rim and traversing the extremely steep and high-elevation terrain of the Half Dome trail in Yosemite National Park.
“The more challenging the trail,” Mitchell says, “the more intriguing it is.”