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Programmer

Rebecca Heinzer

What was your major? Management Information Systems How did you get started in your career? As a senior in high school, I came to UGA and spoke with an advisor. I had never heard of MIS before that point. I told him that I knew I wanted to go into business, but I also enjoyed working with computers. I knew I was an analytical thinker who was very detailed. He said that combination sounded like the perfect fit for MIS. With his feedback, I applied to UGA's MIS program and maintained that major from that point on! What skills are needed? MIS gives you a variety of career options from programming to consulting to network administration . I enjoy the chance to use problem-solving skills to create a product that benefits the business. I have the opportunity to see the entire life cycle of a program/project, which gives me a lot of satisfaction as a programmer. MIS does not limit you to strictly programming, though. You have the opportunity to develop an idea from user feedback. With that feedback, you can use your creative skills to come up with a solution, develop and test that solution, and finally, provide it to the end user. The mix of analytical skills with people interaction has been the perfect fit for me! What experience do you need in this job? Entry-level employees will have training in Oracle and Delphi , as well as functional skills such as time management and business writing . What is the hardest aspect of your job? The biggest disappointment that comes with being in a major like MIS is that you run into people who are only in it for the money. I find this to be a huge disappointment because although most MIS careers do provide a substantial salary, I do not believe that is the reason to choose a major. A career is something you have to do almost everyday of your life. If you do not choose a major that you enjoy, all the money in the world will not give you fulfillment. As a recruiter, it is easy to spot the intentions of applicants. We strive to hire applicants whose heart is in computers and MIS. Without that energy, you will lack the drive to succeed in your field and more importantly, your own personal satisfaction. Tell us about your work -- what do you do? I have the opportunity to see the entire life cycle of a program/project, which gives me a lot of satisfaction as a programmer . MIS does not limit you to strictly programming, though. You have the opportunity to develop an idea from user feedback. What is the hardest aspect of your job? MIS is challenging because you must meet a user's needs and desires with the goals of the business as well as the available technology. Some users have a good grip on technology, which can be both good and bad. The user that knows a lot may expect more than you can deliver. On the other hand, a user who is well versed is easy to talk to and can more easily express their needs. A user who is "clueless" to technology also has strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand, they do not expect a lot. However, they also have trouble expressing their needs because they do not know what is available. All in all, MIS is challenging in that it tests your problem solving skills. You are presented a situation and you must use technology you may or may not be familiar with to solve the issue. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? The MIS major has prepared me in the sense that you learn the basics of each aspect of the IT field. The Visual Basic , Data Management , and Systems Analysis and Design classes are probably the classes that most closely relate to real-life careers. However, no matter which path you choose to take, most of your knowledge will be learned on-the-job. Each company is different and has different needs. An important factor you should consider in whichever job you choose is the option to obtain continuing education!
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