Faculty Spotlight – Ryan O’Connor


Adjunct Professor Ryan O’Connor started working in Information Technology when he was just 16 years old at a small computer shop in Quaker Hill, Connecticut. Now, Ryan teaches classes in the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department at UConn and he works full-time for Hurricane Labs, though he is still confused for a student from time to time.

Ryan shared his experiences in Information Technology, how he became involved in teaching, the importance of technology and his advice for students entering into the field.

Ryan’s own experience at UConn inspired him to become a teacher at the university. He said that he wanted to give back to UConn and he felt that he had a lot of experience and knowledge to give to others.

“Knowledge is a powerful thing, but only if it’s shared” Ryan said.

Ryan believes Information Technology is important because it is involved all monumental achievements in society. He is mainly interested in Information Security and data driven decision making. He said a course he took with OPIM Professor Bob Day at UConn is what sparked his interests in these areas of technology.

“Information technology is so important because it’s as much the present as it is the future,” Ryan said.

Ryan graduated from UConn with a Master’s in Business Analytics and Project Management (MBAPM) in 2014. During his time at UConn, Ryan worked at the University Information Technology Services (UITS) Help Desk. He worked at UITS for seven years, eventually transitioning to a full-time position in the Information Security Office. After earning his Masters degree, Ryan left UITS to further pursue a career in Information Security and Splunk consulting. Ryan currently teaches courses in Network and Design Applications (OPIM 3222) and Business Data Analytics (OPIM 3511) in Storrs and West Hartford.

As for advice for students looking to enter into a technology-based field, Ryan said it is important to become a ‘yes’ person. He said that anything is possible with technology and it is important to keep a positive mind set to be successful.

“It might be hard, but you’ll learn far more in struggling to figure something out than simply saying ‘no we can’t do that,'” Ryan said.

He encourages all of his students to take advantage of every opportunity given to them during there time at UConn.

Ryan hopes to advance in his position at Hurricane Labs as a Splunk Consultant and continue to develop the OPIM Department at UConn. He said he and Professor Jon Moore are hoping to develop the lab environment in the OPIM Department into something new and innovative. He said the goal is to make it a place where students can apply what they learn outside of the classroom. Another goal of his is to help other professors continue to grow their curriculums with technology and promote more hands on learning with students.

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