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Published: December 14, 2022

2022 Grads Transition to Roles From Forensic Science to IT

During The University of Tampa’s 155th Commencement Ceremony held this Friday, 670 students will receive their bachelor’s degrees. 

Mykel Tomlinson, a forensic science major, is one of those students. Tomlinson leveraged her internship experience with local law enforcement agencies to land a full-time role as an evidence technician at the Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory.

2022 Grads Transition to Roles From Forensic Science to ITTomlinson leveraged her internship experience with local law enforcement agencies to land a full-time role as an evidence technician at the Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory.

In the role, she will intake evidence from law enforcement agencies within the county, as well as the medical examiner’s office. This includes DNA evidence, toxicological evidence and seized drugs. 

Tomlinson, of Land O’ Lakes, FL, said part of her job is transferring evidence, as well as processing toxicology specimens and preparing them for analysts.

During her time at UT, Tomlinson interned with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in the Crime Scene Unit and with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in toxicology. Both allowed her to make connections, she said.

“My professors were incredibly supportive in making sure that the students were prepared for the type of field forensics is,” Tomlinson said.

“Forensics is definitely a field that is represented differently in the media than it is in real life,” she noted, adding it is not the same as you would see on a show like CSI.

One thing Tomlinson didn’t anticipate prior to being in the program, was how important it is to be able to testify clearly and confidently. However, Professor Kenyon Evans-Nguyen and Assistant Professor Michele Crosby emphasized the skill set in their classrooms and gave students opportunities to practice.

Tomlinson stressed the importance of making connections with people in the field, and to prepare before your interviews. Doing research on the company and/or agency that you’re interviewing with shows that you are genuinely interested in the job, she said. 

“I will miss the great professors, who have dedicated a lot of time and energy towards our successes as a class,” Tomlinson said about leaving UT. “Most of all, I’ll miss the challenges that this journey has put in front of me.” 

Cybersecurity Club and the Power of Networking

After Nevan Beal, a cybersecurity major from Milton, GA, receives his degree on Friday, he will move on to a position in information technology at Raymond James as an IT security analyst. 

The security analyst job is focused on incident response, Beal said, which means he will be one of the analysts helping remediate cyber security incidents at the company.

2022 Grads Transition to Roles From Forensic Science to ITNevan Beal ‘22 will move on to a position in information technology at Raymond James as an IT security analyst.

Beal obtained the job through networking and engaging in extracurricular activities, such as UT’s cybersecurity club Root@UT, capture the flag competitions, where the flags are hidden in purposefully-vulnerable programs or websites, meetups and more, Beal noted. 

“My time at UT helped me figure out that cybersecurity was my major,” said Beal. “After that, every year at UT allowed me to network and meet people, whether through classes or extracurriculars, which has helped me tremendously as I start my post-grad career.”

Beal’s advice to students hoping to land a job after college is to start reaching out and meeting people. And when you find something that you’re interested in, dive in headfirst in learning the details. 

For more on the December commencement, visit ut.edu/commencement/december-commencement. Watch the 155th Commencement ceremony live.

Here are some statistics about UT's December 2022 graduating class. 

Total graduates: 985
Countries represented: 15
% of graduates from Florida: 59

Undergraduate students
Total bachelor’s degree candidates: 670
Summa cum laude (GPA 4.0): 2
Magna cum laude (GPA 3.75 or higher, but less than 4.0): 97
Cum laude (GPA 3.5 or higher, but less than 3.75): 97
Most popular undergraduate majors : finance, marketing, and criminology and criminal justice

Graduate students
Total candidates: 315
With highest honors (GPA 4.0): 28
With honors (GPA 3.9 or higher, but less than 4.0): 39
MBAs awarded: 48

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