Month: April 2017

Faculty Spotlight – Satvinder Mayall

Satvinder Mayall is an Adjunct Professor in the UConn Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department. Mayall has an extensive background in information technology throughout his career, holding senior management positions involving business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a Masters of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering, along with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

Mayall has experience in a variety of industries, including – automotive, high tech, aerospace and defense, consumer, consulting, healthcare and education. Holding the position of Vice President of Information Technology (IT), Mayall worked with the design and implementation of information systems in nearly all functional areas of a company. He said that the projects he was involved with ranged in magnitude. He has experience managing multi-million dollar projects involving hundreds of people, he said.

His career in teaching began over 15 years ago when he covered a class for a friend for two weeks. In those two weeks, Mayall said he realized his enjoyment for teaching because he felt he had something to offer students and the students seemed to enjoy his teaching. The following semester, Mayall’s career as an Adjunct Professor began.

Mayall has been teaching at UConn for eight years now. Currently, he teaches two sections of the introductory course, OPIM 3103 (Business Information Systems), and BADM 3760 (Business Information Systems) over the summer for students outside of the Business School. He loves teaching because he said it very rewarding, and on top of all of that, he said it is fun!

“I am continuously learning from my students, which happens every semester. My thanks goes to all of those students who have helped me,” Mayall said.

For Mayall, the most rewarding part of teaching is that instead of thinking of it as teaching students, he thinks of it as training of future executives. He said a major lesson in his class involves discussing the importance of goal setting and measuring.

“I keep reminding my class: think like a manager, executive, or CEO, and how information technology can help achieve goals,” Mayall said.

Information systems is so important because it helps managers make good decisions based on good data, he said. Mayall said he always emphasizes the quality of data in his courses because it is critical to the success of the company. He said that his course discusses how the quality of data can be improved through good design.

“My goal is to make students understand the effective use of information technology to help make better decisions as managers and executives,” Mayall said.

Teaching the introductory course means that Mayall teaches students throughout the School of Business, not just OPIM students. He said that during his first lecture, he tells students of his journey in information technology, encouraging students who are interested in the field to pursue a career in it.

Mayall said he makes it a point to discuss the many future challenges in the field and though these challenges will be bigger, he tells students that they will be far more rewarding. Mayall encourages any students interested in entering the field to pay him a visit to discuss your future goals.

In his spare time, Mayall enjoys volunteering, mentoring and spending time with his grandchildren. He is the Treasurer at the Historical Society in his town. In addition to information technology, Mayall said he is interested in innovation technology, particularly related terrestrial and outer space research. Bringing his new research to the classroom to discuss and challenge is application to society is one of his biggest joys in teaching, he said.

As for his advice to his students, Mayall said to always keep learning.

“Never stop learning. Learning is a lifelong, never ending journey no matter what career path you choose,” Mayall said.

Finally, he wanted to leave students with one last word as they begin their careers in the field.

“I envy young students of today, who will participate, develop, and enjoy the fruits and pains of new technologies in all fields. Now go make it a better world,” Mayall said.

MIS Students Honored with Scholarships

On Tuesday April 25th the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department gathered to honor a number of students majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS). Over 30 undergraduate students, freshman through seniors, were selected and recognized for their excellence in the MIS program.

Before receiving their scholarships the recipients were praised for their accomplishments by Sulin Ba, the Associate Dean of the School of Business. Ba addressed the students by sharing some of her rewarding personal experiences as a professor in the department and seeing her students develop. She offered encouragement for rising underclassmen to continue their dedication to academic success in the MIS program. She emphasized the skills they acquire as MIS majors will give them a competitive edge as future employee prospects. She concluded by congratulating all the seniors in attendance as they prepare for their next journey in the work force.

Among the students present many were current members of the Information Management Association (IMA). IMA president Tyler Lauretti was pleased to see “a lot of familiar faces from around the department who attended workshops or from IMA being recognized”.  He believes that by the department acknowledging the consistent involvement of these students it will further motivate them to participate in the future. Senior Luke LaBranche was particularly thankful and impressed by the department for continuing to honor and reward graduating students, “it means a lot to know the department cares about not only their undergraduates but also sending off their seniors”.

A word frequently used by the students while describing their experience with the OPIM Department was growth. Senior Marc Senatore spoke about overcoming challenges during his educational career at UConn, such as applying to the Business School three times before being accepted. However he now he feels he is leaving with a profound amount of confidence and knowledge due to the OPIM Department. He recalls coming into the MIS program, “not knowing any coding, and now I consider myself competent to learn any language [of code].” LaBranche described the passion of the department as “incredible” and the professors “always enthusiastic to teach”. The department’s dedication to improvement is what allows students with limited knowledge of MIS content to succeed in their major.

Several students also spoke about the impressive networking opportunities the OPIM Department offers them. OPIM Professor and Assistant Department Head Ramesh Shankar expressed the importance for graduating seniors to come back and recruit MIS students into their companies. Senatore supported Shankar’s advice by sharing how the departments networking helped him: “through a past UConn MIS alum I was able to intern for a company called Synchrony Financial, formally known as GE Capital”. The connections he made led to his recent offer for a full time position at Synchrony Financial.

The OPIM Department would again like to congratulate its scholarship recipients on their impressive academic achievements this semester and wishes the best of luck to the graduating seniors as they begin their new careers.

Installing IoT through Splunk

The final technology workshop of the Spring 2017 semester held by the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department explored Internet of Things (IoT) through Splunk. It was the last in a series of technology workshops part of the OPIM Innovate Initiative. The workshop took place in the Gladstein Lab on Friday, April 21st.

Professor Ryan O’Connor instructed the workshop, preparing students to use the technology. O’Connor said the wanted to make the workshop practical for the students in attendance. The goal was to get students to install the application to ultimately be able to utilize it beyond just the workshop. He said the workshop went very well and commented on the great turn out of attentive students in attendance, especially for the end of the semester.

O’Connor said that understanding IoT through Splunk because it is a very important emerging field.

“Big data is becoming increasingly important, if not already important, and students looking to enter the information technology field should have a familiarity with it,” O’Connor said.

It is very attractive to companies when students can say that they have worked with IoT through Splunk and have actually installed it, O’Connor said. This fact is what made this workshop and topic so important for students, he said.

Tyler Lauretti, President of the Information Management Association (IMA), gave very positive feedback after the workshop. Lauretti said he was excited to dive in to using IoT through Splunk and learn more about data analytics and the uses for big data platforms, which is a big interface that many companies are using. He said he got a lot of useful information out of the workshop like he was hoping to.

Four Full-Time Insurance Positions with Mass Mutual

The MassMutual Financial Group is hiring four full-time positions for their Insurance Sector. The positions are located in Enfield, Connecticut, Springfield, Massachusetts, and Phoenix, Arizona.

The available positions include the following:

Call Center Specialist

Enfield, CT

Click here for more information on this position & how to apply!

 

Bilingual Call Center Specialist

Enfield, CT

Click here for more information on this position & how to apply!

 

Call Center Specialist

Phoenix, AZ

Click here for more information on this position & how to apply!

 

Customer Service Representative

Springfield, MA

Click here for more information on this position & how to apply!

 

Student Spotlight – Tanya Malik

Tanya Malik is a senior majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) here at UConn. Tanya is very active in the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department as a member in both the Information Management Association (IMA) and the Advisory Group for the OPIM Innovate Initiative.

As a member of IMA, Tanya said she attends many of the informative meetings on career building and networking events. Through her involvement in IMA, Tanya said she has had the opportunity to network with professionals in the MIS field and other MIS students at UConn.

“IMA provided me with the opportunity to network with  former UConn MIS students who have guided me to further pursue the MIS path,” Tanya said.

She said that the guidance of UConn MIS graduates now working in the field has helped her greatly in developing her future career path.

As an active member of the OPIM Advisory group, Tanya helps promote the OPIM Innovate Initiative by brainstorming ideas, providing feedback, and assisting in bringing new and emerging technology to students. Tanya said that her job is to test out the different technologies in the OPIM Department’s Innovation space and provide a personal account and recommendations on how to instruct students to use the technologies. Some of the technologies that Tanya has worked with as an advisor include the HTC Vive and 3D Printing.

There was rarely an OPIM Innovate event or workshop where Tanya was not in attendance this year. She said that her involvement in the Innovation space at the workshops helped her really grasp different aspects and new technologies in MIS. She said the workshops allowed her to learn about different career choices in the MIS field and the different technologies she will be working with.

Tanya said that the most interesting aspect of information technology for her is the fact that it is so broad, allowing her to learn more than just one skill.

“With information technology you are able to work with different technologies and are able to explore everything MIS has to offer,” Tanya said.

The MIS field is not monotonous, which is something she said she really likes about it. MIS professionals have the opportunity to learn and work with a bit of everything, such as software design, database design, data analytics and project management.

Tanya said her interest in MIS began when she took the OPIM 3103 (Business Information Systems) course and attended the Careers in Information Management and Business Analytics (CIMB event), as a Finance major at the time. At the CIMB event, panelists from the information technology field came to speak about their own experience in the field. She said it gave her insight into the vast amount of opportunities available in MIS. It was at this time that she said she had the realization that technology is and will always be all around us. And so began Tanya’s journey in the MIS major.

During her time in the MIS program, Tanya said she has learned many technical skills, as well as soft skills. Some skills that she learned throughout her coursework include how to analyze data, create databases and learn coding language.

Although not directly related to the MIS major, two other important skills Tanya said she developed during her time at UConn – public speaking and teamwork. She said being involved in countless group projects and presentations allowed her to build these soft skills that will be extremely beneficial to her in her career.

As for her advice for younger MIS students, Tanya said to take advantage of internship opportunities as soon as possible to find out exactly what area of MIS you are interested in taking your career. Tanya highly encouraged those who are still considering the MIS major to pursue it.

“Because of the broadness and newness of the major, the possibilities are endless for what you can do with the degree. You’re always going to be learning about new innovative technology and how it can be implemented in a business setting,” Tanya said.

Another big advantage of the MIS field is job security, she said. Because of our capitalistic society, Tanya said that we will always have businesses and technology with the need for someone to bridge that gap.

Tanya will be graduating in just a few weeks and she said she plans to work in her family’s business for a year before applying for a business analyst position at UnitedHealth Group.

“My ultimate goal is to be a part of an organization that allows me to keep learning and gain more experience and help me develop my skills further,” Tanya said.

 

 

 

BCLC explores Tableau

The UConn School of Business Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department invited students from the Business Connections Learning Community (BCLC) to an individualized workshop on Tableau Visualization Software.

Professor Jon Moore of the OPIM Department taught the workshop to students majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) and Accounting. The workshop allowed students to work through many hands-on exercises, watch videos on data visualization, and ask questions about Tableau and data visualization.

Last Fall, the OPIM Department sponsored a workshop on Tableau for students and faculty as a part of the OPIM Innovate Initiative.

Moore, the coordinator of both workshops, believes that it is important for students in all fields of business to understand Tableau. Because of the rise of data analytics in business, it is important to be able to draw meaningful conclusions from data through visualizations. Moore believes that Tableau is a great place for students to get started with data visualization because it is a very user-friendly interface.

 

IQ Telecom Business Summer Internship opportunities

IQ Telecom is hiring for two Summer Internship positions in Wethersfield. The positions include a Financial Analyst Internship and a Junior Business Analyst Internship.

Requirements for each position:

Financial Analyst Internship

  • Financial Skills, Developing Financial Reports, Analyze Profitability
  • Managing Profitability
  • Analyzing Information
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • An individual who identifies as a problem solver and a self starter

Junior Business Analyst Internship

  • Analytical Analysis
  • Documentation, and Problem Solver
  • Strong Communicator
  • Microsoft Office Suite

IQ Telecom encourages undergraduate and graduate students of the UConn School of Business to apply. Interested individuals can apply via HuskyCareerLink. Please address applications and questions to IQ Telecom’s hiring manager, Ann Contrata at accounting@iqtelecom.com

PwC seeking a Summer Risk Assurance Intern

PwC is looking to bring on a Risk Assurance Summer Intern as part of their IAS/PA group in Hartford. Students from the UConn School of Business are encouraged to apply.

A strong candidate will demonstrate knowledge and proven success through experiences and coursework in the broad range of risks affecting companies and management decision making, complex IT environments, and all aspects of auditing.

Working in assurance at PwC involves – asking questions and testing assumptions, helping to determine if companies are reporting information that investors can rely on, helping businesses solve complex issue faced by management and boards, and conducting quality audits to serve the public interest and the capital markets.

Interested individuals can apply for this position directly on PwC’s website.

Gamification Workshop

The UConn Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department conducted a Gamification workshop on Friday, April 14. This comes as a part of a series of technology workshops being held by the department throughout the semester as a part of the OPIM Innovate Initiative.

OPIM Professor Jon Moore, one of the coordinators of OPIM Innovate, taught the workshop. Moore, also, currently teaches a course on Gamification here at UConn. The workshop gave students some background on the process of Gamification and an activity on the topic.

Gamification is the study of creating experiences that increase engagement and learning in variety of different environments – such as, marketing, customer engagement, training and efficiency enhancement, Moore said. The importance of Gamification has grown because of the increase in customer data and, in turn, the acquisition of more accurate analytics data that can predict and display exactly what clients want, he said.

“I believe that Gamification is a new topic and pretty exciting to study,” Moore said.

Many students that have taken his class are Management Information Systems (MIS) majors, but Moore said what is interesting about Gamification is that it attracts a diverse audience, because it is applicable for many different majors.

Moore’s goal for the workshop was to spark students’ interest in Gamification and to introduce the topic to those who did not know about it beforehand. He said he hoped to gain the interest of potential students and to lead them into taking his Gamification class in the Fall.

One of the students in attendance, Shanzay Iqbal said she thought the workshop and the topic was very interesting. Iqbal has attended most of the OPIM Department’s workshops throughout this year.

“I really enjoyed the activity because it engaged students. Some of the other workshops are more of a lecture format and aren’t as interesting. I’m a hands on person so I liked that,” Iqbal said.

Moore said he included an activity to keep his audience engaged throughout the workshop. He said because Gamification software is less hands-on, he decided to add a group activity halfway through the workshop.

Moore was pleased with the outcome of the workshop with positive responses overall from the students in attendance. He said that many students approached him following the workshop, showing interest and seeking more information on the topic.

Additionally, Moore said he is looking for students who are interested in helping with Gamification consulting in the future, because many companies and outside organizations have shown interest in partnering in the space.

The last workshop of the semester, Exploring IoT through SPLUNK Analytics, will be taking place on Friday, April 21st in the Gladstein Lab. Please register here to reserve your spot in the workshop, as space is limited.

CoMIS Case Competition 2017

Professor Jon Moore and four of his students traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to compete in the CoMIS Case Competition for the first time. CoMIS is an international case competition, where UConn competed against 19 of the best teams in the world.

Professor Moore’s team was made up of students with a variety of backgrounds – Tyler Lauretti (Management Information Systems), Chris Connelly (Accounting), Spencer Rabin (Finance, and the alternate Sarah Burdick (Digital Media and Design). These students were chosen because they were the top four in the Business Case Competition Independent Study, conducted by Professor Moore and the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department.

The first day of the competition, Thursday, March 30th, all of the students participating broke up into groups to visit the platinum sponsors of the event – 3M, Optum and Medtronics. Later that night, all the participants attended the Networking Dinner, where they were given the rules of the competition.

The next morning, the case was presented to all of the teams in the competition. The case revolved around consulting the Office of Information Technology (OIT) for the University of Minnesota on how to prepare the university for infrastructure and research in the field of Internet of Things (IoT).

Once the case was distributed, teams were confined to their hotel room for 24 hours to prepare a solution to present to the judges the next day. The presentations took place on Saturday, April 1st in a series of rounds. Despite great efforts and a fantastic presentation, UConn’s team did not make it to the final round of the competition.

“We gained a lot of great experience to bring back to the class and prepare for next year,” Professor Moore said, following the competition.

Moore said he is looking forward to competing in CoMIS in the future and he was impressed with the work of his students being that it was the first time he has had a team compete on such a big stage.