Hakeem Harris

Building Relationships to Build a Future

Major: Informatics

Minor: Nonprofit Management

Most Sage Advice: Network, Network, Network!

Hakeem Harris knows that good relationships are the key to success. “The more people you know, the smoother your road can be,” he says. An informatics major pursuing a minor in nonprofit management, Harris came to the School of Informatics and Computing to explore his interest in technology without being forced into a program that was too technical, a fear he believes may divert many potential informatics students.

“Do not let programming deter you from majoring in informatics,” he says. “Informatics students do experience two programming courses, but the professors are extremely helpful. Informatics provides so many different opportunities where you could find a career where you do not have to do any coding at all.”

Hakeem’s focus on networking has driven him to get involved in a variety of ways on campus. He is the vice president of Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society, the webmaster of Mu Beta Lambda Minority Business Fraternity Inc., and the finance chair of BUILT (Building Understanding in Leadership and Technology). He is also an intern for Serve IT, a community IT clinic housed in the School. He has been a social media intern for University Information Technology Services, a business analyst for Serve IT, and a process improvement engineer for PNC Financial Services.

“The relationships that you build with people throughout your internship experience are crucial in helping you succeed. I have learned that when networking, you should listen and observe, but also make sure you stand out to whomever you are networking with,” he says. “My internship experiences have taught me to make an everlasting impression on people and to show them that they can learn from you as much as you can learn from them.”

Hakeem plans to enroll in the PNC Financial Services rotational program after he graduates and would love to work for a financial institution as either a developer or software engineer. He says he is eager to discuss career opportunities or degree decisions with anyone and encourages undergrads to reach out to him.  Hakeem advises students not to focus on what’s not there, but on what you would like to be there, and offers a George Carlin quote that he lives his life by, “Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”