Alex Tung, an associate professor in the UConn School of Business Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department and a proud Husky Basketball fan, is passionate about bringing together academics and the information technology field through his work. Tung has been involved with the OPIM Department at UConn since 2000. Tung told me about his interests in information technology, his reasons for teaching, advice to students entering into the field, and his future goals for the OPIM Department.
Tung’s focus in information technology is on building and improving IT software to help businesses become more efficient and effective in decision-making. He said this require deep thinking to come up with the correct logic to solve each problem in different functional areas of businesses.
Tung became involved in teaching because he loves spreading his knowledge. He said it is extremely satisfying to him when he sees students grasp what he is teaching and apply it to real-life problem solving. He said he finds teaching to be very rewarding and interacting with students motivates him to pursue new knowledge himself.
As for the importance of the Information Technology field, Tung said that no businesses today, whether they be large or small, operate successfully without the use of technology. Information technology is everywhere and the industry is growing on a daily basis. Because of this, people are needed to build and maintain these information systems, he said.
Tung’s advice for students pursuing careers in information technology is to be passionate and persistent. He said that working in the field can sometimes be frustrating when something is not working.
“Work hard and you will succeed. Once the system you try to build is working the way it should, or the piece of computer program you wrote solves a complex problem, the feeling of fulfillment is beyond imagination,” Tung said.
Additionally, he advised students to always keep up with new technologies because the industry advances very rapidly. Mastering new technologies as they become available is a key to being successful in the information technology field, Tung said.
When asked about his future goals for the OPIM Department, Tung said he hopes to build an IT entrepreneurial field lab facility to integrate the theory and application of students’ learning. He said that the information being taught in the classroom should be able to be immediately applied to real-world scenarios while they are still at school and he wants to facilitate this.
“I have no doubt that with the high caliber of our students, the next Mark Zuckerberg could very well likely be produced by UConn’s OPIM Department,” Tung said.