PetSitnStay, a company co-founded by one of our Computer Information Systems students, is a finalist for the Spirit of Enterprise Student Entrepreneurship Award, to be presented on November 21. In the Department of Information Systems, students have many opportunities to develop the soft skills that employers seek — primary among them is the Department of Information Systems Club. Read on for more news.
Student entrepreneur leverages the ‘sharing economy’ CIS student is Spirit of Enterprise Award nominee
PetSitnStay, a company founded by one of our Computer Information Systems student Aaron Grove with accountancy alum Paige Corbett to found PetSitnStay, is a finalist for the Spirit of Enterprise Student Entrepreneurship Award, to be announced at a luncheon on Friday, November 21. PetSitnStay is an online service that matches pet owners with local animal lovers willing to provide in-home pet care. The Spirit of Enterprise Awards, presented by the W. P. Carey School’s Center for Entrepreneurship, recognize firms for creating jobs, boosting our economy and delivering great customer service.
The business launched in October 2013 with the help of ASU’s Great Little Companies Network, which provides funding and mentorship to early-stage student startups at ASU. This summer, the company was accepted into ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, a startup incubator.
“PetSitnStay has launched at the optimal time,” Grove said in an ASU News article. “Sharing economy companies are booming, and our peer-to-peer model allows us to take advantage of this trend when people are looking for alternative sources of income. As a company, we want to provide a better home for pets while their owners are away and empower pet lovers with tools so they can earn additional income watching pets.”
Message to new students: Get involved!
Ethan Selin, president of DISC (Department of Information Systems Club), has this piece of advice for freshmen and sophomores: get involved. And under his leadership, DISC will be more welcoming to underclassmen this year.
“The issue is that we are perceived as a job fair,” Selin said. The weekly DISC meeting usually features a presentation by a representative from a company that recruits at W. P. Carey, and DISC members use the opportunity to get acquainted with them.
Younger students, however, often think it’s too soon to be networking with employers and some stay away from DISC for that reason. Selin said that’s a big mistake. Even if graduation is three years away, it’s never too soon to get your face out there, he says. “The recruiters will remember you when they return,” he said, “and that increases your chances of getting an internship or a job.” In fact, most recruiters are actively seeking to build relationships with underclassmen so they can get to know them long before making a job offer. Some students hold summer internships after both their sophomore and junior year.
DISC helps students socially and academically, too. Selin said upperclassmen may seem intimidating, but getting to know them is valuable. They can be a source of advice on classes and other campus life questions. Younger students can find study partners at DISC, too.
So, this year DISC is adding activities that appeal to younger students, making it easier for them to get involved. Examples include seminars on relevant skills, like interviewing, or discussions of current topics such as net neutrality.
Once they get connected, students find plenty of ways to develop their professional skills. In addition to the weekly meeting, DISC hosts special events like the IS Career Mixer. There are opportunities to volunteer, too. Leading will be this year’s officers:
- President — Ethan Selin
- Vice president of community service — Vincent Q Nguyen
- Vice president of membership — Christine Abrazaldo
- Vice president of corporate relations — Vi TranLe
- Vice president of IT — Sneha Patel
- Vice president of finance — Aaron Ortega
- Vice president of instruction — Jeff Ding
Business analytics: Then and now
It’s been 20 years since U. S. News & World Report launched its inaugural college rankings. Since then, prospective students have learned to check these scorecards when making decisions about school, but many of the programs ranked have changed since the 1980s, and one of them is business analytics.
Information Systems Department Chairman Michael Goul was quoted in a Yahoo! News story about college majors that have grown up since that first ranking. Programs in management science were the precursors of today’s business analytics degrees, he said. But today, there is a much more significance placed on the data (e.g., Big Data), and the evidence it can help to provide to support decision making. The concepts taught in those classes contributed to the development of business analytics as an important strategic function in companies — and as a focus in business schools.
The W. P. Carey School now offers business analytics at all educational levels. W. P. Carey undergraduates may earn the Department of Information Systems’ Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics. For the first time this fall the department is also offering a Certificate in Applied Business Data Analytics to all ASU majors. At the graduate level there’s the Master of Science in Business Analytics, collaboratively taught through the information systems and supply chain management departments. And in spring 2015, W. P. Carey Executive Education will offer a non-credit certificate in the field.
— Photo by Andrew Farquhar