Month: February 2017

Practicing with SQL


On Friday, February 24th, the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department’s Gladstein Lab maxed out in attendance for the second technology workshop of the semester, an Introduction to SQL. The workshop is part of a series of technology workshops being put on by the department throughout the semester, as part of the new OPIM Innovate Initiative.

For those who do not know, SQL (Structured Querying Language) is a data-driven application that retrieves information from databases and allows for creating, processing and querying data by retrieving information.

Anna Radziwillowicz, an Instructor in-Residence at the Hartford and West Hartford campuses, taught the workshop with the goal of giving students a basic understanding of SQL and practice writing queries. Radziwillowicz gave a background on databases before moving into creating a data table.

IMG_0473Three students at the workshop claimed to have previous experience using SQL, Radziwillowicz said. Because the majority of the students did not have any or limited experience, she concentrated on giving students a basic overview of the technology, not going too far in depth. She said that a continuation class was a possibility if there was enough interest.


The OPIM Department created demo accounts for students to practice with SQL. During the workshop, students practiced retrieving data from a database, creating a data table and entering data to the table.

At the end of the workshop, Radziwillowicz said students could request a personal account to further practice with SQL at the Business Help Desk by mentioning completion of the workshop.

Keep up-to-date with the upcoming workshops and register online ahead of time to reserve your spot at the next workshop.

Full-time opportunity at Cigna for MIS grads

Cigna in Bloomfield, Conn. is seeking to hire a graduate of UConn’s Management Information Systems (MIS) program. The position in titled “Business Analyst Senior Specialist.” Cigna is looking for a recent graduate with strong computer programming skills and knowledge of accounting and healthcare. Students graduating in May of 2017 or earlier are eligible for consideration.

The position focuses in information technology, app development and management. Potential candidates must be able to gather requirements, design, code, test and implement automation processes. Proficiency in SQL and data querying language is required.

Additional information about the position and the online application can be found here.


Faculty Spotlight – Jing Peng


After earning a Ph.D. in Operations, Information and Decisions from the University of Pennsylvania, Jing Peng began his work at UConn six months ago. Peng is an Assistant Professor in the School of Business Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department. He currently teaches students at the graduate level in Data Mining and Business Intelligence (OPIM 5671).

When he is not teaching, Peng is working on research. Peng’s current research focuses on business analytics in relation to social media marketing, recommender systems and data mining. His goal is to provide actionable insights regarding who to target on social media and e-commerce platforms and how to effectively reach these target people. His goal in his research is to provide actionable insights to managers in order for them to use social media and digital platforms more effectively, he said.

With the flexible hours of academia, Peng is able to teach, while conducting his research at the same time. This is one of the many reasons that he likes working as a professor, he said. His favorite part about his career as a whole is that he is able to align his work focus with his personal interests in the information technology field.

The best part about the field for Peng is the wide range of interesting topics and the sustainability of a career in the field, he said.

“It’s a growing field covering a wide range of topics. It’s easy for anyone to find a topic he or she is interested in,” Peng said.

Peng advises students to enter the information technology field because it encompasses a wide range of topics that are extremely fascinating to learn about. He said the skills obtained with a degree in the field are some of the most sought after in the business world today.

In the future, Peng hopes to have his research papers published in premier journals, as well as receive tenure from the university as a professor. Outside of his professional career, Peng said he enjoys photography, basketball and swimming.

About the OPIM Innovate Initiative


OPIM Innovate is the new initiative adopted by the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department in the Fall 2016. The initiative was developed to market the Management Information Systems (MIS) major and to bring new emerging technology to students.

Department Head Ram Gopal and Instructor in-Residence Jonathan Moore developed and implemented the initiative by expanding the department’s research lab space, bringing in new emerging technology. The lab is equipped with Virtual Reality (VR), 3D Printing, Internet of Things (IoT), Microcontrollers and data analytics.


Initially, the OPIM Department came up with the initiative because they were finding that MIS students with internships in the field were working in innovation centers with technologies, such as IoT, drones, and VR.

“We realized that many interests lie in technology outside the provided curriculum,” Moore said of the expansion.

Moore said that this idea lead to building a more dedicated space for students and faculty in the department to work on projects and learn about different types of technology outside of the classroom. As a whole, the initiative is meant to help students work through the process of completing a project, while learning new technology in the process.

Beginning in the Fall, Moore organized multiple workshops for students featuring different topics relating to new technology. So far there have been workshops about Linux, 3D Printing, Splunk Analytics, IoT, Tableau, and VR. What started as exclusive to MIS students, workshops are now open to all students.


This spring, with the initiative more developed, OPIM Innovate hired a team of students, trained in the design thinking process to operate the Innovation Space and Research lab. Having these students involved helps guide users of the space and to provide technology demonstrations and follow ups to the formal workshops.

An advisory group, made up of students and faculty, has been formed for the initiative to brainstorm different ideas, provide feedback on the current processes and to build buy-in from different areas. Moore said that they are always looking for students or faculty interested in joining the advisory group to share their ideas for the innovation space, future workshops, and to give him any feedback they may have. Any individuals interested in joining the advisory group should contact Jonathan Moore at

In the future, Moore hopes to team up with other groups at UConn and potentially outside companies to advance the space and better the experience for students.

MIS Meet and Greet


The Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department held a seminar about the Management Information Systems (MIS) major on Thursday, February 16th. Students and faculty filled the UConn School of Business Lounge to eat, network and hear more about the MIS major.

The purpose of the MIS Meet and Greet was to inform students about the major and to allow them to connect with faculty and other students in the department.

Professor Jon Moore of the OPIM Department gave a presentation about the MIS major – what makes a successful candidate, skills necessary for the major, options within the major for different interest areas, an overview of the curriculum, and a career outlook.

MIS is a very diverse major in that there are some very technological students and others that are not. He explained that there are different career options for MIS students based on their involvement or lack there of in the technology aspect of the major. Contrary to what one may think, he said that the majority of MIS students take the management role versus an IT-heavy role in their careers.


Moore said that the great thing about a career in MIS is the flexibility and potential for growth. He said that of the School of Business, MIS undergraduates have the highest average salary right out of college. The courses offered in MIS focus on different types of emerging technology to increase marketability of students and to prepare them to go right to work in the field.

Additionally, Moore announced the new Data Analytics minor, coming to the OPIM Department in Fall 2017. He said the minor will be more of an option for students who are not MIS majors, but are still interested in the subject.

Moore encouraged all students with an interest in MIS and technology to join the Information Management Association (IMA), as it is a great way to prepare for a career in the field through networking and career-building events.


Finally, Moore spoke about the OPIM Innovate initiative and the new Innovation space that will be opening for students. He said that the space will be available to all students, not only MIS majors. He encouraged students to give their feedback on what the department has been doing so far, such as the technology workshops, and he is open to any suggestions for the future.

There is a “Workshop Wishlist” posted in the Gladstein Lab and Moore told students to go in and write any suggestions for technology workshops that they’d like to see in the future. There is also an advisory group that meets each Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon to discuss feedback and hear suggestions on the initiative. Moore encourages any students interested in joining this advisory group to contact him at

Moore said that due to a great amount of interest, the OPIM Department will be adding two additional workshops this semester – an Introduction to SAS and an Introduction to Gamification. Once the dates for these events are finalized they will be posted here.

Student Spotlight – Dani Licht (IMA Marketing Officer)

daniDani Licht began her career at UConn in the Business School, but her major was undeclared. Her interest in the Management Information Systems (MIS) major began by joining the Information Management Association (IMA) as a freshman. Dani said she got involved in IMA because she wanted to explore the MIS major as an option by connecting with her peers and learning more about career opportunities in information systems.

Now in her second year at UConn, Dani is even more involved with IMA, as she holds the position of Marketing Officer. Dani communicates with IMA members through the organization’s online and social media outlets. Additionally, she promotes the club by creating fliers for different events throughout the semester.

Dani said she was motivated to hold a position in IMA because of her interest in the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) department as a whole.

“I am very interested in the OPIM department and wanted to be a part of expanding the interest of their events and curriculum. Because IMA was so helpful with my decision to declare my major, I wanted to be a mentor to help others,” Dani said.

Dani’s goals as Marketing Officer are to increase members’ attendance at meetings, as well as to recruit potential new members through promotion of IMA events on social media.

On a more personal level, Dani hopes to get an internship this summer in the MIS field. She said IMA has prepared well to begin her professional career by networking events with different companies, developing her professional appearance and resume, and informing her of the MIS-related positions available at these different companies.

In addition to her involvement in IMA, Dani is a member of the Undergraduate Business Association (UBA). She participated in the PwC challenge, as well. Outside of business, Dani is a sister of Pi Beta Phi and she is the Director of Outreach for the Greek Community Affairs Board at UConn.

Dani encourages anybody interested in getting involved in IMA to come to a meeting.
“We usually have food and they are very casual. It is a great way to meet new people and ask any questions you have related to the club and the major,” she said.

Get Up and Running with Linux


The Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department kicked off the first in a series of technology workshops on Friday, February 10th as part of the department’s newly implemented initiative called OPIM Innovate.

OPIM faculty member, Ryan O’Connor instructed the workshop, introducing the Linux operating system. The workshop focused on giving attendees a background on Linux and how to use it.

O’Connor went on to explain the different systems that operate on Linux, such as – research systems, gaming systems, Androids, supercomputers and point-of-sale machines. As for what makes Linux a superior operating system, O’Connor said it is more secure than Windows or Mac.

“Every Facebook post you make, every YouTube video you watch, every Google search you run, is done on Linux,” O’Connor said, quoting an article from ZDNet.

Because of this fact, Linux is important beyond just the information technology field, but in every day life, O’Connor said. The Internet would not run without the Linux system, he said.

When O’Connor asked the group if they had any experience using Linux in the past, many students responded to having some exposure to the software. One student admitted to using Linux for his every day needs for a year, giving up Windows and Mac programs. He said that through this experiment he found that the only thing he missed from other operating systems were the Microsoft Office programs. Other than that, he said Linux was very efficient.

Another student said that prior to the workshop he was aware of Linux. Alex, an engineering student, said he came to the workshop to gain more exposure and experience with the technology because he knows just how widely it is used.

To conclude the workshop, O’Connor gave students information on how to get up and running with Linux, using VirtualBox software.

Despite the snow from the day before, there were 22 students in attendance for the workshop, which took place in the OPIM Department’s Gladstein Lab. The majority of attendees registered in advance with a few students walking in.

The next workshop, an Introduction to SQL, will take place on Friday, February 24th in the Gladstein Lab. Interested individuals are encouraged to sign up ahead of time to secure a spot.

Faculty Spotlight – Shu He


Shu He began her career teaching at the University of Connecticut last August. Currently, she teaches a section of Business Information Systems (OPIM 3103).

In addition to teaching, He is working on research about how companies respond to emerging business challenges by adapting competitive strategies, such as effective social media management, adoption of mobile devices, and cyber security threats.

He enjoys having the opportunity to choose the topic of her research based on her interests. She said she is fascinated by information systems because of its unlimited possibilities. The information technology field is both exciting and challenging, He said.

“With the rapid deployment of computing devices and the improved Internet access, our daily lives and the business world have been reshaped dramatically,” He said.

She said advancements in computer systems and the Internet is constantly evolving. These improvements bring about abundant research opportunities, new technologies and new business environments, she said. In order to embrace this new technology development, there is a high demand for professionals who can bridge technology and business within companies.

“Technology has permeated every management discipline,” He said.

She said that there are many professional opportunities for Management Information Systems (MIS) students with both technical and business skills.

As for her position here at UConn, He said the most rewarding part about teaching is interacting with the students and being a part of their development.

“I have the privilege of teaching students from all over the world. I learn a lot from my students and I am always motivated to update my knowledge,” said He.

On a more personal level in her free time, He likes to exercise by doing pilates and swimming. She enjoys cooking, as well.