Alumni Profile: Liliya Kolcheva, MCS 2013
After VIU, I started working for an IT company called Axiad IDS, located in Santa Clara, California. I work as a Tech Support Engineer. Our company is an identity and access management solution provider for enterprise, government, and financial organizations. It specializes in IT security, specifically in logical access. My team and I work closely with our customers to provide the fastest and most efficient solutions to fit their needs. Most recently, I have started my transition to the tech consultant position.
I always wanted to work in the field of security. I received my Bachelor of Computer Science back in Russia, where I am originally from. I completed my Master of Computer Science at VIU, which provided me with a solid base of technical knowledge and the skills required in the industry. I was able to answer job interview questions about cryptography and other very specific terms without hesitation because of everything I learned for my final exams.
VIU was a perfect place for me overall. As a student, I was able to get individual attention from our great professors because the classes were small. I even had the opportunity to travel. I took a road trip from Virginia to California when I got hired and saw many wonderful places on the way. Washington, DC, however, is still one of my favorites.
My advice to current students is to find a few close friends who will support you while you live far from home. Most importantly, stay in touch with your parents. When it comes to finding a job, my best advice would be to network. I was able to build valuable connections with highly educated professionals through networking events in Washington, DC. I attended many events, which eventually led me to start my career. It was all thanks to my connection’s guidance and kind references.
I came to know that sending resumes online is useless and time consuming. In fact, I urge students to attend social gatherings, as many as they can, and do not isolate themselves. Meeting people allows you to see things from a broader perspective. Don’t be afraid and never give up! Your hard work will pay off.
Liliya Kolcheva, MCS 2013
Axiad IDS, California