Senior Iyonna Brooks will be the first Luddy IUPUI student to complete the 5-year Accelerated Degree program with a B.S. in Informatics plus a Master’s in Jurisprudence since the school began in 2000. In addition to her bachelor’s degree, which she will earn this spring—and her master’s degree which she is on track to complete in 2024—she is completing a minor in cybersecurity through the Purdue School of Science at IUPUI.
Brooks has also achieved some personal firsts as she starts her summer internship with Chevron in Houston the day after graduation. She will be assisting in cybersecurity, incidence response, compliance and risk, and data privacy, while educating system users.
In fall 2022, Brooks attended the Grace Hopper Celebration, an annual tech conference aimed at women. During that time, she was able to interview with several companies seeking interns. “Originally, I was skeptical because I didn’t want to go out of state, but a friend persuaded me to sign up. I was nervous at the interview but then I got an offer,” Brooks said. She had another offer around the same time, with a food service company in Chicago, but ended up choosing Chevron and pushing herself out of her comfort zone.
Brooks graduated from Providence Christo Rey High School where she was active in the Luddy-sponsored Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (iDEW) program and was information technology intern at Eli Lilly. It was through iDEW that she met Jim Lyst, Vicki Daugherty, and Tina Rice who encouraged her interest in both technology and law. At Luddy IUPUI, she has been a student ambassador for three years—and the first diversity outreach ambassador, a position created at her request this year—as well as a participant in IUPUI Regatta and a member of the school’s DEI Working Group.
Her advice to others is to align purpose with passion. “Although it can be overwhelming, find the right opportunity by knowing yourself and your boundaries. Stay focused, stay involved, and have fun while making an impact. Life is trial and error, don’t be scared to try new things, to make the impossible, possible. The worst that can happen is a no,” Brooks said.