Isaac Rivera, Master of Science in Information Systems '15
Revolutionizing the Tech World from Here
“At USF you meet people from different backgrounds and nationalities and get the opportunity to talk to peers and professors so you can start to understand how they think, tackle problems and become a successful leader.”
Isaac Rivera Master of Science in Information Systems ‘15, moved to the Bay Area from Aguascalientes, near Jalisco, Mexico four years ago to intern for the cyber security firm ArcSight, hoping to improve his technology and management skills.
“After my internship was over, I went back to Mexico,” he said, “but ArcSight saw my potential and hired me after my graduation.”
Within six months of hiring Rivera, Archsight was acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP), which opened up a whole new world of career opportunities.
Rivera’s professional mentors at HP encouraged him to learn as much as he could about operating system security and networks. He eventually took a position as a network and security engineer at Okta, an identity management firm in San Francisco, where he soon realized that there were a few holes in his skillset.
“I wanted to find a program that would help me improve my skills on the management side,” he said. “Communication and talking to people were my biggest weaknesses and I needed to improve my motivational and leadership skills.”
Rivera credits his cohort and his professors with broadening his worldview and helping him understand a wide range of perspectives from business professionals all over the world.
Here you meet people from different backgrounds and nationalities and get the opportunity to talk to peers and professors so you can start to understand how they think, tackle problems, and become successful leaders,” Rivera said. “Really listening to what everyone has to say made the experience extremely valuable to me. It was a humbling experience that provided the professional development I was looking for.
Now that USF has given him a deeper understanding of what it takes to be a leader, Rivera has plans to put this knowledge to work after graduation.
“The program has allowed me to see what the challenges are out there in the business world and what needs to be done to improve it,” he said. “I like the idea of working for nonprofits, helping the ones in need, transmitting what I have learned and enabling other people to improve their lives. Changing the whole world might be tough, but if I could help even one person profoundly change their life, that would give me such fulfillment.”