Taneshia Smith

“My goal in life has been the same since I was in elementary school—I want to help people,” says 20-year-old Taneshia Smith.

But the Baltimore, Md., native was not sure how to match her desire with her skills and talents until she started her studies at RIT/NTID.

“I chose RIT/NTID because it provides outstanding programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students that can be difficult to find in other universities and colleges,” Smith says. “During my junior and senior year of high school, I participated in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics, and my mentors had a son who graduated from RIT. When I visited campus, I knew this was where I wanted to be.”

Smith graduated in May with an associate degree in Applied Computer Technology, and credits her co-op experiences as an IT technician at the Social Security Administration Headquarters in Baltimore, and as a technical support representative in RIT’s Information and Computing Studies Department, with helping her find that match. Currently, she is applying for positions in the Baltimore area.

At RIT, Smith learned the necessary skills to be successful in a computer-related work environment and developed an understanding of how her academic studies would be critical to her career choice.

“My co-ops gave me valuable experience in how to handle real-life situations on the job,” she says. “Having those experiences made me confident about the career I want to pursue. I can’t emphasize enough how my co-ops added to developing my teamwork and people skills.

“In the future, I see myself owning a business and expanding my knowledge to follow my dream of helping others succeed in life.”

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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