CIMBA Panel Discussion

On October 16th the OPIM Department hosted an event to get more people involved in Management Information Systems (MIS). The event included a slideshow describing the major, the career opportunities following graduation, and a panel of IT professionals to who spoke on their paths and experiences that lead them to their successful careers. The slideshow discussed the coursework involved in MIS and the importance of bridging the gap between business and technology. Once the slideshow was over, a panel answered a variety of questions that elaborated on their career paths, the opportunities available for students within their companies, and how they see the future of IT evolving.

There were eight panelists all with completely different backgrounds, spanning from recent graduates from this past May, to IT professionals who have been in the field for twenty years. Jamie Perry had one of the more interesting paths to IT. After completing her undergraduate degree she was unsure what she wanted to do with her life, so she enlisted in the military and became a journalist. Then she went to civilian side and did journalism for the civilians. Then she did a lot of graphic design for a defense contractor and got introduced to the world of IT. From there, she taught herself the basics of IT. “I just starting reading a lot, looking things up, doing research, and doing it that way. Once I got deeper in to it I realized how important it is to secure all of the computers and networks, and I found it very interesting. It was because I had a military background that I had an appreciation for securing government secrets and things like that. It was at that point I got into cybersecurity. I decided to get my degree in Cybersecurity Management and Policy and from there I got a job in cybersecurity as an engineer.”

One thing that the panel touched upon was the need for more inclusion and diversity in the IT workplace. Out of the panelists that were in attendance, five of which were women, but a time when women outnumber men in IT is very rare. However, for people like Perry, being one of the only women in the workplace both empowers and motivates her to strive for a more diverse workplace in the future. This is why she created the Women in Technology Leadership Forum. “In the Women in Technology Leadership Forum we invite all women, whether they are technical or if they support IT, to help look at how we can recruit more women in IT, how we can continue to develop the women that we currently have, and how we can become more diverse.” Organizations similar to the Women in Technology Leadership Forum were echoed across the panel at all of the different companies such as The Hartford, Travelers, and Cigna.

Events like the CIMBA panel are great opportunities for students to get real-time insight in the fields of IT and business. The panel was able to speak about where they see IT going, what they value most in potential employees, and it can benefit students from all across the business school. Martin Villanueva, a junior studying Finance, elaborated on his interests in a panel like CIMBA saying, “I was very interested in what they were going to be talking about because it’s something very unfamiliar but super helpful for the future.I’m not an MIS major but I learned a lot about the field of operational management and how technology is being implemented. ”

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