Before becoming the president of the Information Management Association (IMA) here at UConn, Luke LaBranche had never really held a leadership position. Now, Luke runs IMA—leading weekly meetings, coordinating workshops with professionals in the technology field, and preparing involved students for careers in the information technology field.
This past week, Luke took a an hour off of his busy first week of classes and his job at Pratt & Whitney to tell me all about his role as the president of IMA, the perks of being in the MIS major, his future in the IT field, and even his humble beginnings as a restaurant dishwasher.
While Luke had a normal high school job like the rest of us, getting his hands dirty at a “Ma and Pop” restaurant in his hometown of Ellington, he moved up the line quickly and interned with the information security team at Pratt & Whitney this summer, and said he had the IMA to thank.
When he first joined IMA, Luke said the most helpful part was having the older members serve as mentors, advising him on which classes to take and preparing him for what to expect. When I asked him if he is a mentor to the younger students now that he’s a senior, Luke humbly said he is always open for questions and loves helping out the younger students.
As for the advice he would give to students considering majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS), Luke said he “would tell them not to be intimidated by what other people say about the major” and noted that while every major has its challenges, MIS offers the unique opportunity to focus on either the technical side or the management side of business operations.
Luke also let me know that having the support of the students in IMA can ease the transition into the MIS major, although the association is open to students of all majors who have an interest in information management. Luke said that interested students should go to IMA’s website and fill out the membership form. Once this is done, students can join in on meetings and experience all the benefits of IMA, which consists of about 30 students now—but Luke hopes someday, IMA will have enough students to hold their meetings in a lecture hall.