Association for Information Systems conference to be held on Tempe campus

How to build a career from scratch is bound is bound to be a conversation topic at the spring Association for Information Systems student conference, which will be hosted at W.P. Carey this year!

December 6, 2013 – Where were you when you realized what you wanted to do with your life? This month our news clusters around the process of making that important decision. The scene at the CIS information session every fall continues to amaze, even the observer who has witnessed this large event in the past. Every year some of those students are inspired by the speakers, and find a career they had never considered before. How to build a career from scratch is bound to be a conversation topic at the spring Association for Information Systems student conference, which will be hosted at W. P. Carey this year!

Inspire, Collaborate, Compete

The 2014 Association for Information Systems student conference will be hosted by DISC, the Department of Information Systems Club, at the W. P. Carey School! Representatives of AIS student chapters from all over the country will be coming to Tempe March 20-22, 2014. The theme, “Inspire, Collaborate, Compete,” is one of the department’s “Ten business culture ideals to live by.” The ideals include:

  1. Get IT done
  2. Process + Technology = Business Value
  3. Lead the Future: Innovate through IT
  4. Information IS the Answer
  5. Embrace, Evaluate and Manage Risks
  6. Inspire, Collaborate and Compete
  7. Seek Out and Grab Opportunity
  8. Challenge the Status Quo
  9. Deliver Excellence
  10. IT is the Future

 Pathway to career success

Arriving on campus fresh from high school, beginning business students are often unaware that the Computer Information Systems (CIS) program is a pathway to career flexibility and success, and that many students make it their second major. So, every fall the department organizes a panel of CIS alumni and students to share their stories. On November 19 a thousand W. P. Carey freshmen filled a pair of ballrooms at the Memorial Union to hear the panel, which included three CIS alumni and two students.

Robert Mckay of American Express graduated in 2011 with a dual major in CIS and Supply Chain Management and is currently a student in the Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) program. Stephanie Gonzales graduated in 2006 with degrees in both CIS and Marketing. She is part of the IT consulting practice at Protiviti specializing in project and portfolio management, general business and information technology risk. Alan Simon is an instructor on the faculty of the Department of Information Systems and a 1980 graduate of the CIS program.

Student speakers included Victoria Polchinski, a senior CIS student. She is vice president of membership for DISC, president of Women in STEM and co-vice president of the ASU Outdoors Club. This past summer she interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in San Jose, California and interned at ICS NETT, Inc. an IT services company in Virginia during the summer before her junior year. Diego Ortiz-Monasterio, a CIS senior, is the president of DISC and architect of the club’s website He’s also co-founder of Onvard, an Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative venture.

The audience was certain to include students like Victoria, for whom this was a life-changing moment. Victoria was in that audience in 2012, and she changed her major as a result!

Career Mixer

The spring Career Mixer hosted by the Department of Information Systems is scheduled for February 3, 2014. Companies interested in participating in the event should contact Karen Stark.

Media Hits

Prodigy entrepreneur Joshua Valdez-Elizetxe is no stranger to KnowIT readers. We profiled him while he was still a student, expecting to hear amazing things about him in the years ahead. This month the Arizona Republic reported on his recent business ventures, which include fellow entrepreneur and current CIS student, Johann Beishline.

Big data opens up opportunity for businesses looking for insights into customer preferences, new markets for expansion, etc. But with data comes the responsibility to protect it from breach. Information Systems associate professor Marilyn Prosch tells MainStreet that businesses would be wise to collect only what they need.

In a column on the website, Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan observes that “today’s enterprise tech leaders need to know business as well as computer science. In reality, the computer science major won’t become CIO often because of a lack of people skills and business literacy.” Dignan was on a panel recently with ASUs IT Department Chairman Michael Goul when the conversation explored the vital need to bridge university STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs to business schools. Dignan’s column summarizes the main points, and includes one of Goul’s slides.