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Luis Costa, Master of Science in Information Technology, Information Security – ICTI: Information & Communication Technologies Institute – Carnegie Mellon University

Luis Costa, Master of Science in Information Technology – Information Security (MSIT-IS)
Luis Miguel Dias CostaWhere were you working before you started your program?

I had been working at Telecomunicações Móveis Nacionais (TMN), operator of the mobile communications group for Portugal Telecom, since 2005.

What part of the experience has been most valuable/relevant to your current work?

The technical skills acquired in the MSIT-IS program, specially in the Information Security area, are very important for my current work. Personally, the interaction with an university with different methods and the contact with people from all over the world was also a valuable experience.

Did going through the program change your goals/plans for post-graduation?

I would say that the program didn’t change my goals, but now I feel more prepared and confident for the upcoming challenges at Portugal Telecom.

What expectations did you have going into the program? Were you surprised?

I was expecting to go deep into the technical details of each course area (which we did), but there was an effort to relate the topics with student’s upcoming work experience. I was surprised with the strong relation between the academic world and several private companies that benefit from this relation.

What was it like moving back and forth between the United States and Portugal?

I only visited the United States once during this program. People from Pittsburgh are very friendly and Carnegie Mellon is very well organized. I felt connected both to Pittsburgh and to the university almost immediately.

What are some retrospective thoughts on the program? What advice can you give to students currently enrolled or interested in the program?

The program is very demanding but you will see the results almost immediately. Your work capacity will increase dramatically, but most importantly, the confidence in yourself will build up as the program evolves.