Welcome MIS Majors - Practical Tips

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Welcome to the Eberly Internship blog. I will start by sharing some of my thoughts on what you need to do in College to secure a job of your dreams when you graduate.

MIS as a discipline is inter-disciplinary in nature, and our objective here is to provide you with training that enables you to act as a bridge between IT and business. Your primary aim is to solve business problems using the capabilities offered by IT. That means that you have to be adept at both the technical aspects of IT and business concepts like finance, accounting, human resources, etc. If you do not understand the business, you will not be able to understand the concerns of businesses and solve their problems. At the same time if you do not understand technology, it s difficult for you to understand the capabilities offered by it. In the same vein your liberal studies courses expose you to certain aspects of culture, art, etc. which makes interfacing with different sorts of people, a pleasant and more relevant experience. For example if you know about world religions you may be more sensitive to let us say people from India who hold a certain value system. And most of you must be aware that there are a lot of folks from India in the IT area.

So in summary while in college:

  1. Be serious and diligent in all your courses whether business or liberal arts, since they are all relevant.
  2. IT changes very fast and we teach you the fundamentals in class. Keep building on your knowledge. Do things outside the class. Get a campus job or a off campus job dealing with IT. Read new things and experiment with them. Do not just rely on class content.
  3. Learn the concepts in your business courses. These concepts will usually be an integral part of your job description and a good understanding will give you an edge in your job. 
  4. Your liberal studies courses are important. They give you a platform to diversify your knowledge in areas like culture, geography, etc. They are useful in dealing with a diverse international workplace and at times give you topics for a good conversation. 
  5. Do an internship. An internship gives you an opportunity to apply your knowledge to a real life situation. It will also increase your chances of landing up with a job of your choice. Internships have been consistently stressed by executives who have visited IUP and talked to MIS majors. 
  6. Maintain your GPA. If nothing else your GPA demonstrates your capability for high and consistent performance at the task at hand which in this case happens to be learning a given course content.
  7. Widen your horizons and do not shy away from going away from your home and your comfort zone. IT is a global phenomena with a global reach. I know a lot of you want to stay around here but go out of the comfort zone and see the world. You can always come back when you just cannot stay away.
Please free to come and talk to me further about your questions/concerns. You can email me at pankaj@iup.edu or visit me at my office - ECB 207F.

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