Photo of Kristopher Lioi '17

Interning this summer in California at Apple's headquarters is preparing network security major Kristopher Lioi '17 for his career goal.

Student’s career trek goes from genius to graduate

August 16, 2017

Who wouldn’t like to be called a genius, especially if it pertains to one's career. For BW senior Kristopher Lioi, the title is somewhat bold but so, too, is his determination. 

Photo of Kristopher Lioi '17For seven years, Lioi has been employed at Apple with the job title of genius, also known as an Apple certified Mac technician. He balances a 40-45-hour work week with being a full-time student at Baldwin Wallace. His time schedule and finances are tight and the workload is heavy. But, he says, the rewards are worth it.

This summer the reward included an internship as a software quality assurance engineer at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California. It’s a dream come true for the 26-year-old student majoring in computer network security. But the path to get there wasn’t always easy.

From Frustration to Fantastic College Experience

"Since age 18, I’ve been financially independent. It’s been incredibly difficult at times," explained Lioi. "In a way, my self-reliance is the motivation that drives me to complete my degree."

Lioi said that, after graduating from Avon Lake High School, he attended a local state university for a year. He realized the program there wasn’t the right fit, so he transferred to Lorain County Community College, where he earned an associate’s degree in network communications technology.

He spent two years trying to get into a 2+2 program at a different state university, an experience he described as "incredibly frustrating" due to the school’s admission process. 

It was then that Lioi connected to BW and its A2BW program, which helped him fast-track to a bachelor’s degree. His decision paid off. He is set to graduate in December. 

"By far, BW has been the best move I've made with regard to my education. My professors care about my success. And I’m proud to say, I now have an end goal in sight," he emphasized.