Welcome to MIS 295!
The first day of MIS 295 was not a regular “syllabus day” to say the least. As a matter of fact, we never really looked at a syllabus. We walked into Alston room 10 not knowing what to expect. First, Dr. David Hale came in with an army of TAs down to the front of the lecture hall and started the class introduction like any other class, “This is MIS 295 and I am Dr. David Hale…” what he said next came as shock to many of us sitting there. He followed up with, “Alright, I’m now going to hand it over to my TAs for about 15 minutes and I’m going to step out of the class room so you can ask any question you want about this class or MIS in general.” After 15 minutes of nonstop Q&A Dr. Hale reappeared in the classroom, and the real introduction started. Dr. Hale started with educating everyone on how prestigious the MIS program is at Alabama with numbers like highest average salary on campus and a 99.99% placement rating, but what he followed up with is what really stuck. Dr. Hale started talking about the change in mindset that we needed, not just to pass that class, but to succeed in a career. That moment was the moment for all of us that we knew we were no longer preparing for a degree, but for a career.
Looking forward almost a week, here we are all suited up, clean cut, clean shaved. It was time for our first AIMS meeting. The company we had visiting was Slalom Consulting. A smaller consulting company with 16 different branches worldwide working with companies in their local area to primarily help these companies develop and enhance their technological side of their business. Slalom consulting works with many different areas of expertise such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, nonprofit, financial services, real estate, food and beverage, and even media. Employing people from all these different fields is one of the reasons Slalom Consulting is a growing success. They help these different fields of work to achieve their goals through retail, telecommunication, software, and even energy and utilities. One topic that stuck out was the work they do consulting and helping develop applications you would use on a tablet or smart phone. The specific branch that came to talk to us resides in Atlanta and works with companies such as Coca-Cola, AT&T, Boys and Girls club, The Atlanta Braves, and many more. Next week we will have a technology company come talk to us, K2 technologies. We look forward to hearing from this and many other great companies, but, more importantly, potential employers. The following day we spent the majority of about an hour going over the AIMS meeting in class and why it’s important for us to go to the AIMS meetings. We eventually circled back around to the topic of average salary for MIS students first year out of college. Dr. Hale started writing figures on the board representing the additional cost of a company to hire you for a year. This was another important lesson that he was teaching us, about the VALUE we really provide to a company. After breaking everything down, it came out to about $2/minute. When we go to the AIMS meetings, we have to show to these potential employers that, yes, I am in fact worth your time, but more important I’m worth that $2 a minute.
Dr. Hale along with Professor Lucas are here to prepare us for the future, Professor Lucas in MIS 120 will teach us the structure and information needed to succeed in MIS and Dr. Hale gives us the technique and real life skills needed in today’s business world. As the semester progresses we will be tasked with different projects that, as three person teams, we must come up with a plan and outline from start to finish. Dr. Hale has already informed us that he is known to give little information, and he advises us to start developing a network with other MIS students that have been in our shoes before. All of this goes back to that first day in class, when we realized we aren’t just taking a class for a degree but to prepare ourselves for a career. Dr. Hale will push us to our limits, at some points even past those limits. The best thing to do is to hit the ground running and remember, not just to do it for the grade, but to prepare yourself for the career that lies ahead.