Author: Taylor Begley

Faculty Spotlight – Satvinder Mayall

Satvinder Mayall is an Adjunct Professor in the UConn Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department. Mayall has an extensive background in information technology throughout his career, holding senior management positions involving business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a Masters of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering, along with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

Mayall has experience in a variety of industries, including – automotive, high tech, aerospace and defense, consumer, consulting, healthcare and education. Holding the position of Vice President of Information Technology (IT), Mayall worked with the design and implementation of information systems in nearly all functional areas of a company. He said that the projects he was involved with ranged in magnitude. He has experience managing multi-million dollar projects involving hundreds of people, he said.

His career in teaching began over 15 years ago when he covered a class for a friend for two weeks. In those two weeks, Mayall said he realized his enjoyment for teaching because he felt he had something to offer students and the students seemed to enjoy his teaching. The following semester, Mayall’s career as an Adjunct Professor began.

Mayall has been teaching at UConn for eight years now. Currently, he teaches two sections of the introductory course, OPIM 3103 (Business Information Systems), and BADM 3760 (Business Information Systems) over the summer for students outside of the Business School. He loves teaching because he said it very rewarding, and on top of all of that, he said it is fun!

“I am continuously learning from my students, which happens every semester. My thanks goes to all of those students who have helped me,” Mayall said.

For Mayall, the most rewarding part of teaching is that instead of thinking of it as teaching students, he thinks of it as training of future executives. He said a major lesson in his class involves discussing the importance of goal setting and measuring.

“I keep reminding my class: think like a manager, executive, or CEO, and how information technology can help achieve goals,” Mayall said.

Information systems is so important because it helps managers make good decisions based on good data, he said. Mayall said he always emphasizes the quality of data in his courses because it is critical to the success of the company. He said that his course discusses how the quality of data can be improved through good design.

“My goal is to make students understand the effective use of information technology to help make better decisions as managers and executives,” Mayall said.

Teaching the introductory course means that Mayall teaches students throughout the School of Business, not just OPIM students. He said that during his first lecture, he tells students of his journey in information technology, encouraging students who are interested in the field to pursue a career in it.

Mayall said he makes it a point to discuss the many future challenges in the field and though these challenges will be bigger, he tells students that they will be far more rewarding. Mayall encourages any students interested in entering the field to pay him a visit to discuss your future goals.

In his spare time, Mayall enjoys volunteering, mentoring and spending time with his grandchildren. He is the Treasurer at the Historical Society in his town. In addition to information technology, Mayall said he is interested in innovation technology, particularly related terrestrial and outer space research. Bringing his new research to the classroom to discuss and challenge is application to society is one of his biggest joys in teaching, he said.

As for his advice to his students, Mayall said to always keep learning.

“Never stop learning. Learning is a lifelong, never ending journey no matter what career path you choose,” Mayall said.

Finally, he wanted to leave students with one last word as they begin their careers in the field.

“I envy young students of today, who will participate, develop, and enjoy the fruits and pains of new technologies in all fields. Now go make it a better world,” Mayall said.

Installing IoT through Splunk

The final technology workshop of the Spring 2017 semester held by the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department explored Internet of Things (IoT) through Splunk. It was the last in a series of technology workshops part of the OPIM Innovate Initiative. The workshop took place in the Gladstein Lab on Friday, April 21st.

Professor Ryan O’Connor instructed the workshop, preparing students to use the technology. O’Connor said the wanted to make the workshop practical for the students in attendance. The goal was to get students to install the application to ultimately be able to utilize it beyond just the workshop. He said the workshop went very well and commented on the great turn out of attentive students in attendance, especially for the end of the semester.

O’Connor said that understanding IoT through Splunk because it is a very important emerging field.

“Big data is becoming increasingly important, if not already important, and students looking to enter the information technology field should have a familiarity with it,” O’Connor said.

It is very attractive to companies when students can say that they have worked with IoT through Splunk and have actually installed it, O’Connor said. This fact is what made this workshop and topic so important for students, he said.

Tyler Lauretti, President of the Information Management Association (IMA), gave very positive feedback after the workshop. Lauretti said he was excited to dive in to using IoT through Splunk and learn more about data analytics and the uses for big data platforms, which is a big interface that many companies are using. He said he got a lot of useful information out of the workshop like he was hoping to.

Student Spotlight – Tanya Malik

Tanya Malik is a senior majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) here at UConn. Tanya is very active in the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department as a member in both the Information Management Association (IMA) and the Advisory Group for the OPIM Innovate Initiative.

As a member of IMA, Tanya said she attends many of the informative meetings on career building and networking events. Through her involvement in IMA, Tanya said she has had the opportunity to network with professionals in the MIS field and other MIS students at UConn.

“IMA provided me with the opportunity to network with  former UConn MIS students who have guided me to further pursue the MIS path,” Tanya said.

She said that the guidance of UConn MIS graduates now working in the field has helped her greatly in developing her future career path.

As an active member of the OPIM Advisory group, Tanya helps promote the OPIM Innovate Initiative by brainstorming ideas, providing feedback, and assisting in bringing new and emerging technology to students. Tanya said that her job is to test out the different technologies in the OPIM Department’s Innovation space and provide a personal account and recommendations on how to instruct students to use the technologies. Some of the technologies that Tanya has worked with as an advisor include the HTC Vive and 3D Printing.

There was rarely an OPIM Innovate event or workshop where Tanya was not in attendance this year. She said that her involvement in the Innovation space at the workshops helped her really grasp different aspects and new technologies in MIS. She said the workshops allowed her to learn about different career choices in the MIS field and the different technologies she will be working with.

Tanya said that the most interesting aspect of information technology for her is the fact that it is so broad, allowing her to learn more than just one skill.

“With information technology you are able to work with different technologies and are able to explore everything MIS has to offer,” Tanya said.

The MIS field is not monotonous, which is something she said she really likes about it. MIS professionals have the opportunity to learn and work with a bit of everything, such as software design, database design, data analytics and project management.

Tanya said her interest in MIS began when she took the OPIM 3103 (Business Information Systems) course and attended the Careers in Information Management and Business Analytics (CIMB event), as a Finance major at the time. At the CIMB event, panelists from the information technology field came to speak about their own experience in the field. She said it gave her insight into the vast amount of opportunities available in MIS. It was at this time that she said she had the realization that technology is and will always be all around us. And so began Tanya’s journey in the MIS major.

During her time in the MIS program, Tanya said she has learned many technical skills, as well as soft skills. Some skills that she learned throughout her coursework include how to analyze data, create databases and learn coding language.

Although not directly related to the MIS major, two other important skills Tanya said she developed during her time at UConn – public speaking and teamwork. She said being involved in countless group projects and presentations allowed her to build these soft skills that will be extremely beneficial to her in her career.

As for her advice for younger MIS students, Tanya said to take advantage of internship opportunities as soon as possible to find out exactly what area of MIS you are interested in taking your career. Tanya highly encouraged those who are still considering the MIS major to pursue it.

“Because of the broadness and newness of the major, the possibilities are endless for what you can do with the degree. You’re always going to be learning about new innovative technology and how it can be implemented in a business setting,” Tanya said.

Another big advantage of the MIS field is job security, she said. Because of our capitalistic society, Tanya said that we will always have businesses and technology with the need for someone to bridge that gap.

Tanya will be graduating in just a few weeks and she said she plans to work in her family’s business for a year before applying for a business analyst position at UnitedHealth Group.

“My ultimate goal is to be a part of an organization that allows me to keep learning and gain more experience and help me develop my skills further,” Tanya said.




BCLC explores Tableau

The UConn School of Business Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department invited students from the Business Connections Learning Community (BCLC) to an individualized workshop on Tableau Visualization Software.

Professor Jon Moore of the OPIM Department taught the workshop to students majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) and Accounting. The workshop allowed students to work through many hands-on exercises, watch videos on data visualization, and ask questions about Tableau and data visualization.

Last Fall, the OPIM Department sponsored a workshop on Tableau for students and faculty as a part of the OPIM Innovate Initiative.

Moore, the coordinator of both workshops, believes that it is important for students in all fields of business to understand Tableau. Because of the rise of data analytics in business, it is important to be able to draw meaningful conclusions from data through visualizations. Moore believes that Tableau is a great place for students to get started with data visualization because it is a very user-friendly interface.


IQ Telecom Business Summer Internship opportunities

IQ Telecom is hiring for two Summer Internship positions in Wethersfield. The positions include a Financial Analyst Internship and a Junior Business Analyst Internship.

Requirements for each position:

Financial Analyst Internship

  • Financial Skills, Developing Financial Reports, Analyze Profitability
  • Managing Profitability
  • Analyzing Information
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • An individual who identifies as a problem solver and a self starter

Junior Business Analyst Internship

  • Analytical Analysis
  • Documentation, and Problem Solver
  • Strong Communicator
  • Microsoft Office Suite

IQ Telecom encourages undergraduate and graduate students of the UConn School of Business to apply. Interested individuals can apply via HuskyCareerLink. Please address applications and questions to IQ Telecom’s hiring manager, Ann Contrata at

PwC seeking a Summer Risk Assurance Intern

PwC is looking to bring on a Risk Assurance Summer Intern as part of their IAS/PA group in Hartford. Students from the UConn School of Business are encouraged to apply.

A strong candidate will demonstrate knowledge and proven success through experiences and coursework in the broad range of risks affecting companies and management decision making, complex IT environments, and all aspects of auditing.

Working in assurance at PwC involves – asking questions and testing assumptions, helping to determine if companies are reporting information that investors can rely on, helping businesses solve complex issue faced by management and boards, and conducting quality audits to serve the public interest and the capital markets.

Interested individuals can apply for this position directly on PwC’s website.

Gamification Workshop

The UConn Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department conducted a Gamification workshop on Friday, April 14. This comes as a part of a series of technology workshops being held by the department throughout the semester as a part of the OPIM Innovate Initiative.

OPIM Professor Jon Moore, one of the coordinators of OPIM Innovate, taught the workshop. Moore, also, currently teaches a course on Gamification here at UConn. The workshop gave students some background on the process of Gamification and an activity on the topic.

Gamification is the study of creating experiences that increase engagement and learning in variety of different environments – such as, marketing, customer engagement, training and efficiency enhancement, Moore said. The importance of Gamification has grown because of the increase in customer data and, in turn, the acquisition of more accurate analytics data that can predict and display exactly what clients want, he said.

“I believe that Gamification is a new topic and pretty exciting to study,” Moore said.

Many students that have taken his class are Management Information Systems (MIS) majors, but Moore said what is interesting about Gamification is that it attracts a diverse audience, because it is applicable for many different majors.

Moore’s goal for the workshop was to spark students’ interest in Gamification and to introduce the topic to those who did not know about it beforehand. He said he hoped to gain the interest of potential students and to lead them into taking his Gamification class in the Fall.

One of the students in attendance, Shanzay Iqbal said she thought the workshop and the topic was very interesting. Iqbal has attended most of the OPIM Department’s workshops throughout this year.

“I really enjoyed the activity because it engaged students. Some of the other workshops are more of a lecture format and aren’t as interesting. I’m a hands on person so I liked that,” Iqbal said.

Moore said he included an activity to keep his audience engaged throughout the workshop. He said because Gamification software is less hands-on, he decided to add a group activity halfway through the workshop.

Moore was pleased with the outcome of the workshop with positive responses overall from the students in attendance. He said that many students approached him following the workshop, showing interest and seeking more information on the topic.

Additionally, Moore said he is looking for students who are interested in helping with Gamification consulting in the future, because many companies and outside organizations have shown interest in partnering in the space.

The last workshop of the semester, Exploring IoT through SPLUNK Analytics, will be taking place on Friday, April 21st in the Gladstein Lab. Please register here to reserve your spot in the workshop, as space is limited.

CoMIS Case Competition 2017

Professor Jon Moore and four of his students traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to compete in the CoMIS Case Competition for the first time. CoMIS is an international case competition, where UConn competed against 19 of the best teams in the world.

Professor Moore’s team was made up of students with a variety of backgrounds – Tyler Lauretti (Management Information Systems), Chris Connelly (Accounting), Spencer Rabin (Finance, and the alternate Sarah Burdick (Digital Media and Design). These students were chosen because they were the top four in the Business Case Competition Independent Study, conducted by Professor Moore and the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department.

The first day of the competition, Thursday, March 30th, all of the students participating broke up into groups to visit the platinum sponsors of the event – 3M, Optum and Medtronics. Later that night, all the participants attended the Networking Dinner, where they were given the rules of the competition.

The next morning, the case was presented to all of the teams in the competition. The case revolved around consulting the Office of Information Technology (OIT) for the University of Minnesota on how to prepare the university for infrastructure and research in the field of Internet of Things (IoT).

Once the case was distributed, teams were confined to their hotel room for 24 hours to prepare a solution to present to the judges the next day. The presentations took place on Saturday, April 1st in a series of rounds. Despite great efforts and a fantastic presentation, UConn’s team did not make it to the final round of the competition.

“We gained a lot of great experience to bring back to the class and prepare for next year,” Professor Moore said, following the competition.

Moore said he is looking forward to competing in CoMIS in the future and he was impressed with the work of his students being that it was the first time he has had a team compete on such a big stage.

Demonstration of Raspberry Pi

The latest in a series of technology workshops held by UConn’s Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department demonstrated Raspberry Pi. The workshop was held in the OPIM Department’s Gladstein Lab on Friday, April 7th, as part of the department’s new OPIM Innovate Initiative.

The attendees of the workshop came from a wide range of backgrounds beyond Management Information Systems (MIS), including students from the School of Engineering and Computer Science Department.

OPIM adjunct faculty member, Ryan O’Connor instructed the workshop, stating his goal was to explain Raspberry Pi technology and show students what the technology is capable of.

O’Connor said that Raspberry Pi is a Microcontroller, which is basically a tiny portable computer. He said that some common uses of Raspberry Pi technology are to control devices in the home, to host a web server and for Internet of Things (IoT) technology, just to name a few.

“The possibilities are pretty much endless with Raspberry Pi,” O’Connor said.

During the workshop, O’Connor gave an introduction to Raspberry Pi and instructed students on how to host and solve a web server using the technology.

“By the end of the class everyone was hosting a web server off of Raspberry Pi. I don’t think that’s something they thought they’d be able to say coming out of the workshop, so I think it went well,” O’Connor said.

Students in attendance said they found the workshop and O’Connor’s presentation to be extremely informative. O’Connor said he was pleased with the outcome of the workshop, calling it a great success.

The next workshop, an Introduction to Gamification will be taking place on Friday, April 14th in the Gladstein Lab. Please register here to reserve your spot in the workshop as space is limited.

Student Spotlight – Maggie Quackenbush

Maggie Quackenbush is a senior majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) at UConn, but the story of her college journey is a bit different from others in the major. Maggie started out as an Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) major and it wasn’t until her junior year that she switched to MIS.

She said she made the switch because she felt she was not being challenged enough academically in the HDFS program. She said she had no exact career plans in HDFS, which was another factor in her decision to change her major.

So began her search for a different career path. Maggie said she missed taking math classes so she researched different majors within the Math Department, the Business School and the Computer Science Department. Maggie said she found MIS to be the perfect combination of all of her interests.

“Once I found MIS, I decided it would be perfect for me since I could learn so many new things and I felt like it bridged the gap between my technical interests and Psychology, because I’m able to apply technology to business contexts in a way that helps people and aligns well with the way they think,” Maggie said.

She said she has always been very interested in technology. Maggie said that when she was younger she taught herself how to code HTML and that she has always loved playing video games. On top of that, Maggie said she loves to be creative with technology. She said that MIS provides her with many opportunities to use creativity, for example in the ways she approaches certain problems within technology, designing interfaces, and front-end development.

The reason Maggie is so interested in technology is because it is always changing, allowing her to constantly be challenged, she said. A career in information technology will allow her to be challenged even beyond college while simultaneously working to help people, Maggie said, which is exactly what she wants out of a career.

“Technology has such potential to help people in their everyday lives in addition to solving bigger problems that we can’t solve on our own,” Maggie said.

As a graduating senior, Maggie said she feels fully prepared to start her career due to her experience at UConn. She said that the MIS program has given her all of the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a job. Another skill that she attributes to her time at UConn is the ability to find her place and get involved in such a large environment. She said that this is a skill she is glad to have as she enters into the working world.


“In a big company, it won’t always feel like you really matter in the big picture, but my time at UConn has taught me how to make sure that I am a part of the big picture,” she said.

As for her advice to students just starting out in MIS, Maggie said to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities that MIS has to offer.

“If you’re interested in something and there isn’t a related elective offered, you should still stick with that interest and look for online open source courses or even just watch TedTalks on the subject,” Maggie said.

MIS is a great field, she said, but because it is so broad, she suggests figuring out exactly what it is within the field that you are interested in. She said that if you can narrow your focus and pursue a career with that focus in mind, it will be easier to find a job that you love after you graduate.

After graduation, Maggie hopes to begin a job that aligns with her interests and skills. She said she is primarily looking into rotational programs, where she has the option to work in a few different areas, such as cyber security, development, or data analytics.

Eventually, Maggie hopes to attend graduate school for something relating to User Experience and Interface Design for video games.

She said that her dream job would be to create video games for children with special needs to help them in some way. She said for example, she could create a virtual reality experience for Autistic children who get overwhelmed in social situations. She said her idea for the game would expose them to virtual social settings to increase their comfort and ability to deal with those situations. Another idea she mentioned was an educational video game focused on helping students who are struggling in school with specific learning needs.

“Anything that involves using technology in a way that makes people’s lives better would make me feel successful in this field,” Maggie said.