Sloane Luckiewicz charts an unexpected course in Integrated Information Technology
Sloane Luckiewicz unexpectedly found STEM. A former competitive dancer and ballerina, college was not part of her plan as she aspired to be a professional dancer. But after a change of heart, Luckiewicz enrolled at High Point University in North Carolina as an undeclared major in 2018.
High Point was not the right fit, and after one year, Luckiewicz transferred to the University of South Carolina, although still undecided in her major. But it was not long before she chose to pursue a career in STEM, a mostly male-dominated field.
“A friend suggested I look into IT and said I’d be really good at it,” Luckiewicz says. “I’m good with numbers and patterns but majoring in math sounded boring to me. I took a couple of IT classes and loved working with new and emerging technologies. It’s very relevant to the world today—everyone uses technology every single day.”
Luckiewicz continued her path and will graduate in December with a degree in Integrated Information Technology (IIT). But the journey has not been without obstacles. In one of her early classes, students were shown a movie about women in STEM, which served as a warning about the unfortunate stereotypes and sexualization of women in the field.
“It was intimidating, and I thought it seemed like a lot to handle on a day-to-day basis,” Luckiewicz says. “I wondered, ‘Do I really want this?’”
She ultimately did not allow any stereotypes to influence her decision. “A lot of men in this profession tend to talk down to women, and my teachers warned me about this,” Luckiewicz says. “But I have a tough personality and a loud voice, and I don’t let things slide. I thought, ‘It’s time to start changing the narrative about the sexualization of women in the workplace.’”
Luckiewicz was the only female in many of her classes when she began her IIT studies. Now, she says that number seems to be growing, and her experience in the classroom and workplace has been positive. Luckiewicz previously worked on databases for Schneider Electric as a digital transformation intern. She currently works part-time as an associate web developer at ROVE, a Charlotte-based IT consulting firm.
It’s all part of Luckiewicz’s plan to be a well-rounded job candidate. She aims to continue at ROVE this summer on a full-time basis before pursuing an opportunity in cyber security this fall. Following graduation, she wants to be prepared for adapting to whatever comes her way.
Regardless of her future, Luckiewicz is confident in her chosen path. “I will never stop learning,” she says. “That’s what draws me to it the most. I will never know all there is about IT because it changes at such a rapid pace. There is always something new to discover.”