Isabella Morales ’23 will receive her bachelor’s degree in data science with a concentration in intelligent mobility from Florida Polytechnic University on May 7. The student from Brandon, Florida, is set on making an impact on the world of public transportation, starting by earning her master’s degree in data science at Florida Poly. She is a graduate of Middleton Magnet High School and is determined to do everything she can to achieve her dreams.
Why did you choose your major?
I was originally a computer science major and was going to concentrate on game design because that’s what I did in high school, but programming was very difficult for me. I met with the heads of data science and they answered questions to help me decide whether it is something I wanted to do. Now, my dream is to work with the state Department of Transportation (DOT). Transportation data comes in all the time and there’s always something you can do with it – you can take the same data set and do many different projects on it.
How well do you feel Florida Poly prepared you for life after graduation?
I believe because of Florida Poly I know what I am going to do with my life. I know the steps I need to take in order to succeed in the career I want to be in. Career Services was always willing to help with internships and professors are willing to help us on their own time and with their own connections. Florida Poly is an amazing school – it was my dream school – and being able to graduate from here is awesome.
What was your favorite course and why?
Advanced Quantitative Methods. In the first semester there was a lot of statistics, and in the second semester we were getting into things like linear regression and logistical regression. That’s when I started using R data language for data analysis as opposed to learning the language and the statistics. In the moment it was really hard, but looking back, it was probably my favorite class because of how it finally incorporated everything all together.
What did you enjoy most about your time at Florida Poly?
The friends that I made. I made the friends I currently have in my freshman year and hopefully we’re friends for life. It’s really nice to have friends who share your interests, and they can share their interests with you. They got me into anime and things like that.
What advice would you give an incoming freshman?
Make friends with your professors. We don’t know a lot about our professors’ personal lives, but we have the opportunity to get to know them a little in the classroom setting. The classes are so small and it’s really good to have someone in your corner. They know how hard you’re working and will be able help you out. I feel like I should have dedicated a little more time than I did when I was a freshman talking to professors one-one-one.
What does earning your degree mean to you?
I feel accomplished. The road was long and hard, but I got there in the end, thank God. Now when we talk about graduation, we are like, ‘We can start our life and get real people jobs.’ It’s exciting because I think I will be able to help my family out, too.
Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of Q&As with several Florida Poly Class of 2023 graduates.
Director of Communications