MIS Document Developer

Sabahat Iqbal

Tell us about your work---what do you do? I am a Doc1 developer. That is a highly specialized role that, as far as I know, is specific only to my firm. I develop and code Personal Communication Statements. These are the statements that are sent out to our client's employees informing them of various events. An example would be a "Pension Initiation Stmt". This is one of the statements that an employee would receive when he/she retired. These PCS's have to be coded according to client's specs and need to be dynamic enough to meet every employee's needs. What skills are needed? Flexibility is a very important skill to have. Being part of a shared service and not on any particular client team means being out of the loop and being the last to be told information. You have to be aware of that and prepare as best you can. Conversely, you have to be able to work on teams as well. I'm part of several different teams and thus still have to be able to pull my weight. Analytical skills are also very important. The work that I am required to produce does not always have an easy solution. You sometimes have to be able to think of different and creative ways to give the client team what they want. Finally, people skills are always helpful. Although I don't interface with the client myself, I do have my own internal clients and they are due the same respect that an external client would be. What was your major? MIS How did you get started in your career? Through the office of "Career Planning and Placement" at my university. What experience do you need in this job? I got this job right out of college so I didn't really have any professional experience but I believe that througout life you are always building your experiences (even though it may not be in the traditional sense). During my interviews whenever an "experience" type question came up, I always referred to things that I had done in college that gave me the skills that they were looking for like leadership, teamwork, and the ability to think on my feet. For example, heading up a student organization, volunteering for SMIS events, etc. Describe your "typical" workday: I get in between 8-9am and check my e-mail and calendar. Then I attempt to figure out what is important for the day, which always depends on whether there were any issues or not overnight. Right now, one of my teams is brand new so we are going through an implementation which means starting from scratch. This has mostly been what I've been working on for the past couple of months. Otherwise, all my other clients are in ongoing mode and I deal with them only when they have a change or when there is an issue. The frequency of that depends on what stage and practice (Defined Benefits, Defined Contribution, or Health and Welfare) the client is in. Also depends on what time of the year it is. So, right now I'm setting up PCS's from scratch for one of my clients only stopping when there is an urgent issue for another client. As far as meetings are concerned, I have one bi-weekly meeting that is for my Doc1 team and then status meetings for the new implementation team. The only other reasons why I might be away from my desk are emergency issues, classes and training, or lunch! What is the hardest aspect of your job? Learning the business. And I think that this is probably something that's hard for any new employee anywhere. There are so many aspects to what my firm does and you can't know it ALL right away. I've been working here for nearly 6 months and there's still a lot that I would like to know. I think you can catch on to your job fairly quickly but sometimes you don't get the bigger picture and the intricate way everything is woven together. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Working by myself or with the client team towards a solution for a problem. I love that feeling of accomplishment. I also like learning as much as I can so I can become less dependent on my coach and manager and more able to contribute positively. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? Be ready to work with other people . If you don't like the idea of other people inputting while you are doing your job then don't do will almost always involve working on a team . Also, always want to learn. MIS is constantly changing . Even if you work with software that is very specialized and very few others on the market use it (as is the case with me) you still have to be willing and able to learn different ways of using technology. There are other things that are important to the business world in general but these are probably the top 2 for MIS.