Having a little Fun

It’s nice to have a chance to take a break and have some fun. Professional development, guest speakers and career fairs are great ways to network and develop career skills, but all work and no play makes College Students…or something like that. The following is a combination of some fun activities that the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford (UPB) and the University of Memphis do to make their Student Chapters not just a professional, but also a fun group to be a part of.

 

Pizza socials are a fun way to chat and meet new people, and it has food. Food attracts college students. (If it’s free food that’s where you really get a crowd) At UPB they had a fundraiser that was made up of a set of carnival games like disk toss. It was a great way to have some fun and raise money for a good cause!

It tends to be the fast-paced games that get crazy, and there’s not too much faster than the “Minute-to-Win-It” series. The University of Memphis hosted a “Minute-to-Win-It” contest and there were two teams – students, and faculty. I can only wish I was there to see it myself! In order to advertise for the event, they created fliers for their Facebook page, website, and the fliers had QR codes so the ones that were printed out could be scanned for more info. Nice touch!

 

Does your Student Chapter have any fun activities you’d like to share? Be sure to reply on our Facebook page!

Community Service That Commands Attention: American University in Cairo

The American University in Cairo’s AIS student chapter is dedicated to helping not only their own students but the entire campus community achieve academic excellence in their MIS studies. For example, the chapter held a mini conference for the Management of Information Systems graduating class. In an order to help the graduates plan for their futures, professionals from the IT industry spoke and provided their insight on the ever-changing field.

In addition to the conference, the AUC-AIS chapter took it upon themselves to promote the new Management for Information and Communication Technology major in the School of Business, which provides students with both business and technology backgrounds upon graduation. In order to inform the student community of activities, announcements, events, etc., the chapter also installed 2 LCDs to display information around campus. By downloading free software and doing the programming themselves, the chapter saved a great deal of money and efficiently handles troubleshooting with ease. Furthermore, the chapter began working on an online historical archive that includes valuable documents like invoices, reports, course outlines, brochures, resolutions, etc.

They also created a GPA calculator that enabled AUC students to calculate and forecast their GPAs. The tool helped students anticipate their grades in future courses, determine their current GPA, and totalize credit hours earned thus far. To keep students from having to recalculate their information repeatedly, the AUC-AIS students devised an option where the results from the GPA generator could be exported to an excel sheet to serve as a personal record for the student.

American University in Cairo’s GPA Generator

 

Offering Students Advanced Workshops: University of Toronto

In November 2011, when the University of Toronto Student Chapter’s student executive, Kim Pham, learned author and well-known usability expert Steve Krug was in Toronto for an event, she invited him to present at their chapter’s inaugural event. Steve gladly accepted the invitation at no charge, and praised Kim for taking the initiative to reach out to him. The session at which Krug presented gave students the chance to learn about usability, design practices, and the principles of human-computer interaction. Over 125 people attended the session, and it was lauded as a major success.

As the year continued, more and more people attended events offered by the student chapter, with an overall average of 42 people per event.  The chapter also offered engaging professional development opportunities through the year, including a 3D printing workshop and hosting the second annual IBM Code Rally workshop.  At the latter, students played and explored the interactive IBM game, Code Rally, to facilitate the learning of Java and team coding in March 2013. While the object of the game was to pass all the check points on a virtual race track, the Code Rally challenged the students to apply their newly acquired and refined Java skills while strategically honing their programming abilities.

The chapter was also successful in creating a formal communication structure, solidifying leadership roles, creating a greater digital and non-digital presence, and developing and maintaining relationships with external companies to host annual events for the future.

Improving annually, the University of Toronto’s AIS student chapter continues to offer its members extremely interactive and advanced workshops in hopes of refining their skills as future IT professionals. View the video below, or click here, to access the full interview of Professor Lyons’ thoughts on Code Rally, the iSchool, and the current technology landscape.

Demonstrating Chapter Success: Temple University

An AIS student chapter’s success can be measured in a variety of ways including increased membership numbers, the development of chapter programs, management transparency, and fundraising revenue. During the 2012-2013 academic year, not only did Temple University’s chapter meet such measurement standards, they exceeded them.

Over the past few years, the Temple AIS chapter has experienced steady growth and continues to provide its 200+ student members with elite opportunities to develop their skills in the IT industry. For example, in order to provide members with more hands-on opportunities that would develop skills not obtainable in the classroom and build a stronger community service presence, they launched several successful programs including the Alumni Buddy System, Friday workshops, and T-DAP. T-DAP is an AIS Alumni workshop series conducted on a designated Saturday for three hours every month. Moreover, their 2012-2013 speaker series provided students with over 40 opportunities to sharpen their skills and attend a variety of professional lectures. Over the course of the year, 43 weekly meetings took place, not including networking events, which fell under the umbrella of professional development. To improve chapter operations and overcome communication challenges among the executive staff, the officers utilized the web-based software “Trello” to manage all operations and keep communication transparent and open.

During their second successful year offering Emerging Consultants, the chapter generated over $3,600 by providing IT services to real-life clients on various projects in a team environment. In order to continue expanding and utilizing this program as a sustainable fundraising tool, services were updated from solely WordPress websites to PHP programming services and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well.

Temple’s success can also be measured in the accomplishments their members attained at the Wal-Mart IT Summit, the FOX Design Challenge, and the 2013 AIS Student Chapter Competition, where they took home high honors in three of the four tracks. The Temple chapter continues to grow and maintain a high level of success in the 2013-2014 academic year under the leadership of president Josh Wise, who is a strong enthusiast in continuing their “legacy of offering our members the best in professional development and networking opportunities.”

Temple University AIS Student Chapter Web Site 

Staying in Touch

How does your chapter stay in touch with its members? Do you have a website or an email list? Do you make use of Twitter or Facebook?

People connect to the internet through their computers, laptops, tablets, phones and even smart TV’s – so what better way to promote your club than through a website! The Student Chapter at Arizona State University uses their website to host club news and upcoming events to keep its members updated, in addition to email reminders and their Facebook page. As a member, the website also hosts voting for club officers and things like voting for a t-shirt design. If you ever needed to learn more about the club and you couldn’t meet them in person – their website is the place to go! Visit it at http://www.asudisc.org/

Although emails are good reminders for events and meetings, sometimes emails still aren’t fast enough. Headed north, to the Student Chapter at University of Montana, emails were good, but texts and phone calls were better. While members were connected through emails, club officers would get friendly reminders to their phone about meetings and the like. In order to give their members time, emails about events were consistently given a week or more in advance and follow-up emails were sent out either the day before or the morning of the event.

Wright State University’s Student Chapter also made use of emails and a website, but they also wanted to keep students informed in-person. In order to do this, students received permission to introduce their MIS Club to MIS classrooms. In addition, they created fliers which they put on the schools electronic bulletin boards. Although a presence through social media, emails, website and the like are good and efficient in their own ways, nothing beats out an invitation from a classmate.

Feel free to share with others how your club stays in touch with its members on our Facebook page!