Information Technology & Web Science Rensselaer

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Undergraduate Student Profile - Alumni

Name: Rich Palmer
Hometown: Alexandria, VA
Concentration: Special Interest - International Business
Department: Information Technology and Web Science
Year of Graduation: 2007
Current Position: Product Development at Relationship Science

Why did you choose to enroll at Rensselaer?
I had an interest in applying technology to business problems in a holistic sense. I considered pursuing purely computer science or management. However, once I learned that the Information Technology program bridged the gap between those competencies while also providing practical experience through real-world course work, I decided to apply.

What are some benefits of being part of the ITWS Community at Rensselaer?
Besides the proven industry marketability of the IT degree, I have friends that have gone into a wide range of industries. The network effect of alumni being in pivotal tech/business roles throughout the country is great. While at school, I felt that the professors had a mix of industry experience and academic pursuits, leading me to walk away from each class with practical, rather than theoretical skills. Additionally, the focused nature of the IT program allows you to interact with professors and students in a way that you might not experience in larger lecture-based settings.

What would you tell a prospective student about choosing Rensselaer?
Rensselaer is a renowned school, with an ever-growing brand awareness. The quality of the education is something that I was aware of before and during my studies, but became even more clear as I entered the workforce. They give you the tools to look beyond words on a page or thoughts in a case study, and apply it to the real world. It's why employers love RPI graduates.

Yes, you will work hard. The key is to balance this out by seeking out a meaningful social life. From clubs, to an incredibly active Greek life, to opportunities in Troy or Albany, RPI has the reputation and rigor to prepare you for real life, and the social atmosphere to have a truly memorable college experience.

What are your hobbies/interests/special talents?
I enjoy pursuing 30 and 90 day challenges, ranging from fitness to learning to nutrition. I self-published a book detailing this pursuit to encourage others. I am interested in rock climbing, high altitude hiking, financial literacy, and sailing. Additionally, as a recent aneurysm survivor, I am interested in technological solution for individuals in their rehabilitation phase, specifically for brain trauma..

List Information about your background and accomplishments in College and Work Experience
- While at RPI, I pursued a dual major in Information Technology and Economics, to prepare me for a financial technology position
- Upon graduation, I worked at Capital IQ, on Wall St, for nearly four years as a senior business analyst for the Portfolio Analytics and Quantitative Solutions product line
- I then left Capital IQ to pursue a startup of my own in Silicon Valley, which ultimately did not succeed, but was a pivotal and meaningful learning experience
- I returned to New York City to help launch Relationship Science (RelSci), a $90M business development statup, as a member of the product development team

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