MIS Career Management
Job Shadow program
A newly-created position in the Management Information Systems department has expanded the services offered to graduate students preparing for the job market. Sadie Randall joined the department in April 2018 as the new Assistant Director, MIS Career Management.
Sadie holds a Master of Education degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Texas State University. Prior to joining the MIS department she worked as a career educator in Student Engagement & Career Development at the University of Arizona.
Wendy Wienhoff, Director of Career Services, came to the department in 2014. Since then she has worked with about 200 students every semester. Now that Sadie is here to handle student relations, Wendy’s focus has shifted to growing relationships with alumni and employers.
Career management support begins before students arrive on campus. The new cohort of residential Master’s students who will begin their courses in August 2018 have already received a pre-arrival checklist. They are instructed to complete 11 activities ranging from submitting a resume and cover letter to preparing an elevator pitch. Before they begin classes, students should already be planning a career strategy that includes target companies, locations, job functions, and preferred industries.
Once students are here on campus, one-on-one meetings begin. Every incoming student will have a resume review before classes begin on August 20. Sadie also hopes to meet with every student before the fall career fairs in September. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in a mock interview every semester and attend two or more MIS Career Management events on topics like LinkedIn and networking.
All of these activities are designed to help students tell a story that will appeal to prospective employers. Students are coached on presenting themselves online, on paper, and in person. Throughout the process, career management staff help students find the vocation that aligns with their passion.
Meeting regularly with students can be challenging because their schedules are filled with classes, project work, and client meetings. Some students come to the Career Management office just once a semester, while others schedule one-on-one appointments every week. The open door policy means Career Management staff are always available when needed.
Wendy and Sadie continue working with students after graduation, and the relationship doesn’t end when they find employment. MIS Career Management is a lifelong resource. Graduates become employer connections who contact Wendy when they have open positions to fill.
Alumni and Employer Relations
Alumni are essential to Wendy’s work, as they constitute most of her connections in companies. Alumni, once established in their careers, become employers who know the high caliber of faculty and curriculum in Eller MIS and the quality of graduates produced by the program.
Wendy meets with alumni every time she travels in the US, whether for business or personal reasons. She invites alumni in the city she’s visiting to gather for dinner or drinks, where they reconnect with her and network with each other. Current students doing internships in the area are also invited.
Keeping in touch with alumni and employer connections benefits both employers and the MIS department. Wendy and Sadie facilitate finding strong candidates with specific skills and experience for employers with open positions. In exchange, MIS Career Management staff learn from employers about the skills that are most desired. That information is used to ensure that MIS program curricula are kept up to date with industry needs and that Career Management adequately prepares students for the current job market.
Wendy can accommodate a variety of requests from employers, including providing resumes, reserving interview space on campus for recruiters, and posting employment and internship positions on the career-services platform Handshake.
Alumni are also invited to participate in the Job Shadow program sponsored by UA Student Engagement & Career Development. The program gives students the opportunity to explore an industry, organization, or job function by shadowing a professional in the field during an academic break. The next opportunity will be Winter Break, December 17, 2018—January 8, 2019.
Students will apply for up to five job shadow opportunities by submitting a resume and cover letter, and will be matched with an employer host. MIS Career Management staff are encouraging alumni to register so a large number of the MIS Master’s students will have an opportunity to shadow an information systems professional.
Learn more about the Job Shadow program: http://career.arizona.edu/job-shadow-program