Being involved with ISACA SJSU prepares you to thrive in a variety of sectors and industries. Just ask distinguished past member, Monica Horenstein. Monica graduated from SJSU in 2012. She had past experience in manufacturing and is now working at Granite Construction Inc., one of the largest heavy civil contractors in the world. Granite Construction was founded over 100 years ago in California.  It’s highly unlikely that you don’t use a Granite Construction road or bridge every day.

During her time with ISACA SJSU, Monica was the Vice President of External Affairs, and her team won first place in the Research Competition. Monica took a moment to talk with us about her experiences:


What do you do at Granite Construction, Inc.?
I am an IT Internal Auditor. I am currently working on year-end testing of General Computer Controls as well as annual testing of Automated Controls. I work closely with the IT department and all of their functions to better understand the purpose of the controls I test.


You recently passed the CISA exam. What advice do you have for students interested in studying for it?
Buy the test bank CD and work through it relentlessly. I Googled a lot of questions I didn’t know and didn’t worry about time until farther along in my studies. Try to get experience under your belt because it will help on the test! The test proctors are terrible so be patient, wear the ear plugs they provide and sit in the front row so you are not distracted by everyone else behind you.


Why did you first join ISACA SJSU?
I was a loner and had no friends.  I also wanted to get involved with a club to network and make myself more marketable. I also think there was some pressure from Dr. I and for good reason, Mamma Ingraham knows best!


Do you have advice for students participating in the Research Competition?
Take one path and become an expert in it, the path doesn’t have to be what you think everyone else is doing, I think it’s better to go your own way. As long as you commit and own your research. Have a well put together paper and PowerPoint. Rehearse the presentation so that it becomes more conversational than an awkward presentation. You will be asked questions at the end so while you go through your research, you should be asking every question imaginable. Don’t be afraid of not knowing the answer to a question, it is not a sign of weakness.


How have you benefited from ISACA SJSU?
I got a job! That is the most obvious benefit from my time in ISACA, but really the biggest benefit are the relationships I developed along the way. I would have never received job offers without the support and guidance of Dr.  Ingraham, my peers, and the guest speakers.


Overall, do you have any advice for students who want to achieve what you have achieved?
Jobs are not permanent, but your first job out of college is an important one. It should be a job that you want to have, not a job that someone thinks you should have. Know your options and do not set aside your desires to go with the status quo. The world is at your fingertips and opportunities will abound, don’t be afraid of passing up the first one that comes you way. You have the freedom to do what YOU want to do, so have confidence and believe in yourself!


Anything else you’d like to add?
 Thank you members of ISACA for keeping the club alive and kicking!!!


Monica Horenstein