Student Spotlight: Michael Pelto

Student Spotlight: Michael Pelto

| By: Haase, Elijah D

Career Program: Information Systems Security Specialist
Originally From: Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan
Current Residence: Brillion
Age: 51
Attended FVTC: Spring 2019 to Fall 2021

Why did you choose Information Systems Security Specialist program?

With a degree in English Writing and a minor in Information Systems from Northern Michigan University, I felt it behooved me to shore up my information technology skills if I wanted to get a job as either a Technical Writer or a Risk Assessment Writer. I chose to pursue the Information Systems Security Specialist degree to give me a wider range of options in case I couldn’t find work as a writer after graduation.

What are you learning about your career field that you find interesting or rewarding?

I am fascinated, and a bit appalled, that cyber security is evolving so rapidly. Now that I am in my last semester, I realize that no matter what field I actually find myself in, I’ll always need continuing education. A job in information technology (in any form) will require a constant update of knowledge to be successful. It’s a good thing I love to learn.

Why did you choose Fox Valley Technical College?

After graduating from NMU in 2019, I struggled to find a job in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, so I moved to the Fox Cities area. When I still couldn’t find work, I decided to go back to school rather than sit idle. After speaking with Ben Castner and getting a tour of the school, I decided I’d give the school a chance. The school’s highly touted placement rate after graduation was also a factor.

How has Fox Valley Technical College helped you change your life?

I feel that I have more chances to get a job in my field(s) at Fox Valley. The Employment Connections office does a fantastic job lining up career fairs to help you network and meet prospective employers. There are numerous programs and departments to help struggling students, both financially and academically, to see a student through to graduation, and even beyond. Even the Veteran Resources Center has been a big help to me. Fox Valley’s teachers are engaged and willing to help you succeed in any way they can.

What type of job do you expect to find after graduation? 

I’d like a job as either a Technical Writer for an IT company or writing information technology risk assessments. Of course, a job in my information security degree field would be welcome. I’m also interested in learning more about network administration. Since there’s such a shortage of educators nationwide, I’m also open to a teaching position.

In one sentence, what's your best advice for someone who's not sure they're ready for college?

Life is too short to waste it struggling to make ends meet in a minimum wage job.

Pro Tips

Best on-campus place to study: I find that studying in the TLC is the best place to get help and finish assignments at the same time.

One class you surprisingly enjoyed: Steve Froehlich made Information Assurance both fun and informative.

One class that challenged you: For this degree, every single class challenged me. None of it came easy for me.

One thing every FVTC student must experience on campus before graduating: Everyone should attend at least one event at Ione’s restaurant.

Pro-tip for newcomers trying to find their way around campus: Examine the site map and physically find your classes before they start.