By Brittney Horner
Baylor’s Association for Information Technology Professionals held it’s annual IS Career Development Dinner on Tuesday with guest speakers from Hewlett-Packard Company, or HP, an information technology corporation.
The dinner was held in the Hankamer School of Business and was an opportunity for Management Information System students to meet with industry professionals.
Students were welcomed with free Vitek’s Gut Packs and black MIS T-shirts, which they were told to wear on Wednesday.
“IT is the defining industry of our generation,” said Lee Slezak, Senior Manager, Global Function IT at HP.
Ashburn, Va., senior Morgan Hall said Baylor Management Information Systems graduates have an average starting salary of $58,708, which is the highest starting salary in the Baylor Business School.
Hall is the president of the Baylor’s Association for Information Technology Professionals (AITP). AITP seeks to help students build better connections in the technology business.
“MIS has so many opportunities career-wise after graduation,” she said. “It’s a good mixture of the technical side and business side.”
Many of the representatives from HP were Baylor graduates.
James Han, a Baylor graduate and project manager at HP, who did not publicly speak at the conference, sat with students and explained his experience in MIS.
“MIS students are a bridge between engineers and business minds,” he said. “We are bilingual; we know both languages.”
Han emphasized the importance of MIS majors for companies today.
“Without us in the middle, it is really hard for businesses to operate,” Han said.
Sang Im, a senior at Baylor and AITP Corporate Communications Officer, also interned for HP and recently accepted a full-time offer with the company.
“Be yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want,” he said. “Be comfortable being uncomfortable.”
Another Baylor graduate, Jamaal Myles, is the Project Manager in Finance & Administration IT at HP.
He said he gained employment by utilizing the resources Baylor provides, such as resume help and the career fair. However, he said Baylor does not teach students everything they will need to know. Some lessons come with experience.
“Baylor doesn’t teach you how to get up at 7 in the morning and have a smile on your face,” he said. “No one wants to work with a jerk.”
Myles told students to do research about their dream company.
“Know a company’s challenges so you can discuss how you could help the company rebound,” he said.
Myles also encouraged students to push themselves.
“Guys that don’t make mistakes are not being pushed and won’t advance in their career,” he said. “There is going to be a learning curve, but try your best.”
Slezak also gave some unconventional advice. He said employers look at more than just education and experience.
“Employers look at ‘soft skills’ such as desire, work ethic, urgency and drive,” Slezak said.
MIS students get jobs as Business Analysts, Technical Analysts, Consultants, Managers, Directors of Technology, Software Developers, etc.
“There is so much information that it can’t be consumed easily,” Slezak said. “We need you.”
Slezak said to be successful in any career, students have to get involved.
“Create opportunity,” he said.