[Alumni Edition] IMSA Student Committee Alumnus Reflects on Impactful Journey

IMSA's SCIA helps build and sustain positive relationships between students and external constituents: legislators, alumni, and donors.

 Joe Longo (’16) recently transitioned into his current role as a solutions engineer and date scientist from being an active member of the Student Committee for IMSA Advancement (SCIA). In a recent interview with The Acronym, Longo reflects on the invaluable lessons he learned at IMSA and how they continue to shape his career trajectory.

Recalling his time as a student at IMSA, Longo reminisced about the diverse array of opportunities that enriched his educational journey. “I did have the opportunity to engage with a lot of folks from all over the state and world,” Longo shared. His involvement in various extracurricular activities, including Model United Nations and Global Studies, allowed him to broaden his horizons and develop a deep appreciation for cultural diversity and global perspectives.

Longo’s academic pursuits at IMSA were equally enriching, with a focus on Chinese language and international relations. He emphasized the pivotal role of IMSA’s rigorous curriculum in shaping his intellectual curiosity and preparing him for the challenges of higher education and beyond. “I was one of those students that had a huge workload… But ultimately, it was good for me,” Longo reflected.

Longo also reminisced on his involvement with SCIA, stating, “…so the idea behind it was essentially how can we give students the opportunity to really identify like what does success look like at [IMSA] and then be able to really let folks you know, like those who are deciding where the Illinois financials are going, giving them the opportunity to really just see some of the great work.”

Longo’s journey with SCIA was marked by pivotal experiences, including his role as the Alumni Affairs Coordinator and later as the President of the organization. Recalling one memorable event, Longo shared, “We were asked to send the like handwritten cards to I think it was like literally every alumni that IMSA had on record… Which was just like, in a, I don’t know why we thought that was a good opportunity for us.” Despite the daunting task, Longo’s dedication and teamwork with fellow club members exemplified the spirit of collaboration and commitment.

Transitioning from IMSA to college, Longo pursued his passion for Chinese and international relations at Michigan State University. He then embarked on a career path that initially aimed for government work but eventually led him to Epic, a software system for a hospital. Longo emphasized the impact of his SCIA experience on his career aspirations, stating, “That was sort of a driver behind wanting to go work in the government. I was like, wow, I had to interact with these lawmakers early on and I thought it was just like a really cool concept.”

As Longo delved into his advice for current IMSA students, he emphasized the importance of self-care and self-worth. “No matter what, it’s going to be okay… Everyone at IMSA, and even those that don’t, are incredible people. And no matter how you’re doing, you’re still worth it just as much as the next person,” Longo shared.

Longo’s journey serves as a testament to the impact of IMSA experiences and the invaluable lessons learned through involvement in clubs like SCIA. As current students navigate their own paths, Longo’s story offers inspiration and wisdom for embracing challenges, fostering collaboration, and nurturing personal growth.

About the Author

Adi Hansoty
Adi Hansoty is a junior at IMSA who lives in 07 B-wing. He is from Long Grove and is very excited to serve as a staff writer. Outside of writing, he likes to play sports, guitar, and listen to music.

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