Dominic Balestrieri, Project Manager / Implementation Consultant, Epic, (2014, BBA, MIS & Economics)
I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to work when I was nearing graduation. I wanted to end up somewhere on the West Coast but an opportunity with a seemingly unknown tech company brought me to the Midwest. Little did I know that I'd be stepping into a role as an implementation consultant for the electronic medical record company that is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country.
The incredible aspect about my job is that I'll spend one minute working with a group of software developers to outline the future of our software and the next on the phone with a CMIO of a hospital organization to talk project timelines and strategy. My MIS background gave me the opportunity to know the possibilities, potential, opportunity, risk, and challenges of developing software, but also gave me the knowledge base to understand the life cycles of a development task, software implementation, and project timeline.
Although I don't write code in my current job like I did while at Gonzaga, I found that my time in the MIS department provided the critical thinking skills to find answers to complex issues, helped me to understand the difficulties that arise when working with both people and software, and gave me the skills needed to collaborate (and compete) with some of the brightest minds in the industry.
Joel Carra, Senior Software Engineer at ReadyBird Ltd., (2005, BBA, Political Science)
In 2001 when I started at Gonzaga I didn't know how broad the IT industry was. Essentially, in my mind to succeed as an IT professional one needed to hold a degree in Computer Science. What I learned from Professor Chuang's MIS course is there are many avenues one can go down as an IT professional.
Having encouragement from Professor Chuang helped me to go into the IT professional world with confidence. After finishing College I went on to write software systems for Stanford and Harvard Universities, became a Senior Software Engineer at Lockheed Martin, and worked for a startup video analytics company leading the front-end team to be recognized as best B2B company in the 2013 MipCube startup labs competition in France. Currently, I run my own Reputation Management software company called Squareify in London. Whilst my undergraduate degree at Gonzaga was in Political Science, I decided to further my education by studying IT Software Engineering at the University of Liverpool in the UK.
Technology is getting more complex, however we need young innovative minds now more than ever in the industry. There are many different areas of IT to get involved with, so I would encourage students to keep searching until they find a specific area they are passionate about."
Will McCahill, Business Analysts, Microsoft Game Studios, (2014, BBA, MIS)
I got my first job entirely based on my MIS degree. The Spokane job market didn't have a whole lot of opportunity and the best job I was able to get was data ingestion for a small credit card analyst company. I used SQL Server Management Studio to develop and correct the data we pulled in from our clients. I couldn't have done any of that without a background in SQL.
I now work in video games for Microsoft. I wear a few hats, but as an analyst I pull SQL telemetry on games for Finance and Design teams to and translate it into Excel charts.
Games are developed the same way software programs are. We schedule out a development life cycle, identify our milestones, and manage each game as a separate project until release. Because of the technical background I have in MIS, I have been assigned a number of special projects including building a financial reporting infrastructure for Microsoft Global Publishing. This means going to all the finance and business teams, understanding their current capabilities as far as data (eg. how long do you have to wait to gain actuals for game performance, can you pull it yourself?) and build a series of applications/tools to facilitate the key processes (eg. quarterly reforecasting)
Everything I just listed was made available to me because of my MIS degree.
AJ Rehn, Associate Software Developer, Expeditors International (2014, BBA, MIS & Finance)
Adding a MIS Concentration has opened up many opportunities for me post graduation. After taking the summer off, I decided to take a job as a Java developer for Expeditors International. Expeditors is a global logistics company based out of Seattle, WA. As a Fortune 500 company, they specialize in freight consignment, supply chain management, customs brokerage, and various other logistics services. Expeditors is known for their in-house developed freight visibility and distribution software.
In my current position, I am programming translations that allow Expeditors' customers to send files via EDI (Electric Data Interchange). These translations will take a file from our customers and convert it into another file type that Expeditors systems can read. In addition, I help in the analysis, design, and development of Java applications our team uses to streamline our programming and business processes.
The most important thing my MIS concentration has equipped me with is the knowledge to learn programming languages. Although the classes in the MIS concentration taught me numerous topics in many different technologies, they didn't teach everything. The tools and strategies I was taught in the MIS concentration have given me the opportunity to grow in the field. Whether it's learning a new language, researching the newest frameworks, or using a new API (Application Programming Interface), Gonzaga's MIS program has equipped me with the tools to become a better learner in the growing field of software development and technology.