Student Profiles

Sean McElhone


Sean McElhone, a current graduate student in the information communication technology (ICT) program, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Centre College in 2000. Currently, Sean works in business intelligence.


“When I began looking at master’s programs, I immediately gravitated towards the ICT master’s at UK,” McElhone said. “While I wasn’t initially familiar with the field, it sounded like a great fit for my career goals. The idea of ‘bridging the gap between the business and technology sides of things’ is a pretty good description of my current role.”


McElhone says that he has really enjoyed the data science courses, ICT 661: Introduction to Data Science and ICT 662: Data Analysis and Visualization, partially because they are most relevant to his career. “It was cool to learn some data mining and data visualization techniques that I could immediately apply in the real world,” he explained.


In addition to his full-time job and keeping up with his classes, McElhone has three small kiddos at home. “Time management has been the toughest part of going back to school. Navigating online classes while working full-time and having three small children at home is rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming at times. For me, the key has been trying to stick to a schedule, but also being flexible when that schedule inevitably goes out the window.”


“I think the best advice I got coming into grad school was to reach out to my professors if I was having any issues. They’re usually very understanding and willing to help if you have a problem or just need some clarity. Being able to do your work online is great, but it’s nice having a real person to reach out to for a little extra guidance.”



Rachel Clarke


A previous undergraduate ICT major at UK, Rachel Clarke made the decision to continue her studies in ICT and pursue a master’s degree because of her interest in how the development of new technologies shapes our world and society. “To me, technology is something that brings everyone together, and there are many implications that can be analyzed because of technology,” Clarke said. “There are also a various number of paths you can pursue with an ICT degree, which is helpful.”


When asked about research interests, Clarke has quite a few. “My research interests include data analytics, digital media marketing, and

telecommunications. My research interests are constantly changing but that makes it interesting!”


Clarke’s favorite course so far has been ICT 690: Search Engine Campaign. As someone with research interests in marketing, the course provided Clarke with insight on content applicable in real world marketing. “The final is also to receive a certification, which will make my classmates and me more marketable in the workforce,” Clarke added.


While Clarke is on track to graduate in December 2022, switching to a fully online program was a difficult transition. “I wish I would’ve been more mentally prepared for switching from in person classes to online classes,” she said. “I had to learn how to take things at my own pace while also completing assignments on time. I was used to going to class to keep me accountable, but it has made me gain better time management skills as a result.”


Clarke credits faculty and fellow students as a helpful support system during her time in the program. “The best resources by far are my professors and peers. If I’m struggling with something and need help, I know I can always rely on the people in the program.”


Clarke also places emphasis on the importance of a work/life balance. “No matter how busy I am, I always make sure to take time out of my day to do something recreational that I enjoy, whether it be drawing pictures, watching TV, or something else,” she said. “I also enjoy journaling to be able to reflect on life and see if there’s anywhere I can make adjustments to live a happier life. It can be easy to get lost in the stress of balancing these things, but it’s most important that I can identify when I need a mental break and allow myself to take one.”