More than 100 young women in high school and junior high school networked with professional women currently working in the field of information technology during the 2nd annual Girls in IT event to learn about industry careers, courses, and needed skills. This daylong affair was held at the Sam M. Walton College of Business on Wednesday, Nov. 19. Schools from Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Prairie Grove, and even as far away as Pine Bluff, participated. The day was filled with a mix of activities, all geared toward encouraging young women to consider information technology as a field of study and a career. Continue reading Girls in IT Conference
Autumn Parker, associate director for undergraduate recruitment, and Barbara Lofton, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, have announced the 27 members of the 2014-2015 Dean’s Student Advisory Board for Walton.
On Thursday, Oct. 2, more than 300 high school and college students attended the IT Executive Forum, hosted by the Information Technology Research Institute at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. After introducing each group of students and their teachers, young people eagerly asked these technology executives how to prepare for the future.
Tom Bohannon, an analytical consultant for SAS Institute, will present to Sam M. Walton College of Business faculty and Ph.D. students about SAS Visual Analytics on Wednesday, Nov. 5.
Bohannon will give an overview of SAS Visual Analytics to all faculty and doctoral students from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Willard J. Walker Hall room 331. He will follow that up with a presentation on its advanced features to Department of Information Systems faculty, analytics faculty and information systems doctoral students from 1:30-3 p.m. in room 222 of the J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., Center for Academic Excellence.
Gabriel Cullier is a recent graduate of the Sam M. Walton College of Business with a B.S.B.A in Economics and Information Systems.
When asked what most interested him about Information Systems Gabriel said, “The potential of solving problems with systems and computer engineering is endless. It seems like every other day a new technology platform comes out so just being a part of an industry that gets to keep up and be involved with perfecting the instruments is enjoyable. Information Technology is the forefront of everything these days. Why not be a part of it?”
The event that sparked his interest in an IT career? He credits his experience as a mentor in the Technology Awareness Program, coordinated by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Information Systems Department. Designed to expose high school students in underrepresented groups (women and racial minorities) to the field of IT and to college life, the Technology Awareness Program also serves to recruit students to the University of Arkansas and promote their interest in IT as a degree concentration and career path.
“I was visiting the Walmart Innovations Lab in Bentonville and was exposed to a medley of technology that was being pitched to Walmart. Each unique pitch piqued my interest and introduced me to the creative world of Information Technology and Computer Engineering. That next day I changed my major.”
He also said, “ The Technology Awareness Program introduced me to a world of technology that I didn’t know previously existed. It was a very enlightening experience that left me with tangible and intangible accomplishments that helped me prepare for college.”
Gabriel currently works for Walmart Stores, Inc as an IT Rotational Analyst. He has aspirations of becoming a strategist where he can push the envelope of what technology can accomplish for business purposes in eCommerce and mobile applications.
He credits his experience as a student for preparing him for what he would encounter in the workforce, and states that his learned knowledge of database management and SQL as being most beneficial.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of math and computing-related jobs are projected to increase by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020 and have a median annual wage of $73,720 in 2010. Yet many women and minorities are not seeking these lucrative careers. In fact, women hold only 26 percent of professional computing positions. Continue reading Making Waves for Women in IT
Jackie Sandoval had to go to a meeting. She found the room, saw some familiar faces and a place to sit. But once the session began, Jackie quickly realized something was amiss. She was in the wrong meeting.
Instead of getting up to leave and drawing attention to herself, she decided to stay. The guest speaker at the meeting was Lisa Sarmiento, Walmart’s senior director of finance and strategy. Jackie was captivated by this successful businesswoman.
By the end of the meeting, Jackie was eager to become a member of the organization hosting the speaker, the University of Arkansas chapter of ALPFA, the largest Latino association for business professionals and students with chapters nationwide and over 20,000 members. The student chapter, which works with ALPFA’s Northwest Arkansas Chapter, serves as a mentoring program supported by the George W. Edwards, Jr. Career Development Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
Jackie, a junior at the Walton College from Springdale, joined ALPFA and became vice president of community service, where she got fellow students active in charitable work, which included participating in Make a Difference Day. Now, she works 30 hours a week as a finance manager for the ALPFA Institute, which promotes advancement and leadership for Latino leaders globally. In addition, she is doing what many students would find unthinkable: She is a full-time student with an economics and finance double major and a double minor in accounting and information systems. While it may take five years instead of the traditional four to graduate, she says the additional concentrations will provide her with the needed skills that could open many doors for her professionally. “I’m not in any hurry,” she says. “I feel like the experience I’m getting here is invaluable.”
That experience includes ALPFA. Jackie attended its 2012 national conference in Las Vegas, Nev., which enabled her to make contacts and secure an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Washington, D.C. Jackie says she envisions herself working in the risk management field after graduation.
Jackie’s interest in business began when she participated in several mock trail competitions in high school. She became fascinated with corporate law and had the idea of becoming a lawyer. She made multiple visits to Walton College, looked at how many students got jobs after graduation and several other aspects. It was an easy decision.
“Walton College is one of the best business schools, so where else would I go?” she says.
Since enrolling at Walton College, Jackie says her interest in business grew to the point that law school is no longer on her radar. She says she is grateful for the opportunities the college has provided her.
She also is grateful for the mentorship offered by ALPFA. Jackie says she aspires to pass it on to her fellow students. Currently, she helps students in many ways, such as making professional connections. She plans to continue mentoring students when she’s a professional, especially through ALPFA. “Without the help of ALPFA, I wouldn’t be as far as I am now in my career path,” she says.
Even Down Under, Dr. Hartmut Hoehle knew the Sam M. Walton College of Business would be a great place to work. He visited in September 2011 and enjoyed his visit, so when there was an opening for an assistant professor in the Department of Information Systems, he knew he had to apply for it. Continue reading EPIC Spotlight: Hartmut Hoehle
Beginning a new school and an entirely new era in your life is both thrilling and intimidating as you enter your freshman year in college. Fortunately, the Sam M. Walton College of Business helped me in this adjustment by providing me the opportunity to attend the Walton Block Party the first week of school. It became a tradition to attend the block party every year to receive free stuff, free food, and most importantly, meet new faces. During my time at the Walton College, I have learned the importance of relationships and how fostering them can help you achieve your goals.
I have had the pleasure of learning from professors who have a passion for what they do. Professors such as Carole Shook, Dub Ashton, Steven Kopp and Molly Rapert have been instrumental in developing my passion for marketing. The pursuit of a marketing education opened the door for me to serve as an assistant marketing director for Chick-fil-A in Rogers, which then led to my current internship with Colgate-Palmolive. During the class Markets and Consumers, I was encouraged to pursue a major in marketing by Carole Shook. Although many professors might not understand the impact they have at moments like this, when the student is asking for advice such as which major to choose, these little moments are remembered and become stepping stones along a much larger path.
Dub Ashton had the ability to make a 7:30 a.m. summer session class one of the most intriguing and engaging classes I have taken in my college career. (Talk about talent!) His method of teaching in Introduction to Marketing Strategies has benefited me greatly because I can still recall much of what he taught, and it since has been retaught in my upper-level marketing classes. When I would visit with him, he was always kind, and always made sure I learned something new. Once when we were in the midst of a conversation, he reached into one of his bookshelves to pull out a book. He then gave it to me as a gift. To this day, I am still surprised he gave me a book that had his personal highlights in it.
Although I was disinterested in Marketing Research initially, as I dedicated more effort to the class it became my favorite of the semester and Steven Kopp became another professor who would influence my life in a positive way. He continuously helped students and would often become excited about a topic during class lectures. He was passionate about what he taught and was always encouraging and friendly. I saw him recently on campus and he said, “Come visit me anytime!”
During this semester, Molly Rapert has demonstrated an area of marketing that I have never experienced before. The creative, innovative and ever-changing side of marketing is exciting and stimulating. Her Marketing Management class is structured in such a way that it enables the freedom for students to actively engage in creativity through assignments, projects and exams. It is because of her class that I feel comfortable discussing current marketing trends with potential employers.
As a sophomore, I was able to meet Renee Clay and was urged by her to join Leadership Walton. Leadership Walton gave me a jump-start on career preparation through events such as career fairs and resume revision sessions. It was through a career fair, and through the level of professionalism I attained from Leadership Walton, that I was able to acquire an internship with Colgate-Palmolive. While working with Colgate-Palmolive, I have learned many skills and gained valuable knowledge I expect to utilize in future occupations.
Every semester, the Walton College has presented me with projects within my classes. This semester, I am working on several projects that I am excited about, including working with the nonprofit Youth Strategies to create a cause-marketing plan through my Nonprofit Marketing class and working with Ozark Natural Foods through my Marketing Management class to create marketing strategies to implement within the store.
Because of my experience in the Walton College, I now look at the world through a marketing lens.
Reflecting on my first week at the University of Arkansas, when I was intimidated by the uncertainty ahead, I realize that I am writing the last few sentences in perhaps one of the most meaningful chapters of my life. I am truly grateful for all those in the Walton College who have invested in me. It is because of them that I am more prepared to meet the uncertainty that is certain to occur. As I finish writing this chapter, and begin the next, I know that much of what I have learned while attending the Walton College, with particular emphasis on relationships, will guide my pen.
Chris Moon chose the Walton College of Business because of its excellent reputation and the opportunities it offered. Now a senior majoring in information systems and German, Chris has taken challenging classes, studied abroad twice, and met with representatives from some of the biggest technology companies in the nation.
“If you’re going to go to the University of Arkansas, you should consider the business college,” says Chris, pointing to the abundant resources and high rankings of the Walton College. He emphasizes that the student body at Walton is very diverse, and not all students are headed for traditional business careers. His major, for example, could lead to a job as a video game developer, and he knows of several students who are planning to attend medical school after graduating.
As an honors student, Chris has taken advantage of study abroad scholarships to travel to Germany and China. In Germany, he stayed with a host family and took literature, grammar, and German culture classes. In China, he attended the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, where he studied Mandarin and Chinese business management. Chris said that studying in China was a valuable learning experience, because the pace is so different there. “Life is 100 miles per hour all the time,” he said, explaining that this taught him how to deal with chaos and accept that he can’t always be in control. “That experience was the highlight of my college career.”
Chris also values the networking opportunities he has found in the Walton College. Recently, he attended Unite, the Unity 3D development conference, and was able to discuss his honors thesis project with the head of Unity’s Android operations. Chris is designing a mobile application that combines augmented reality and RFID technology, which could make RFID data more tangible while allowing for increased productivity and reduced inventory loss. For example, a cell phone with this app would show a video image of its environment, adding information about any RFID-tagged objects within its range.
Chris recently accepted a position at Hewlett-Packard, and he explained that was drawn to HP as they are one of the largest, most profitable, and most environmentally friendly companies in the world. Chris would not be the first Arkansas graduate to work for Hewlett-Packard; their Chief Information Officer is a University of Arkansas alumnus.