A primary goal for the University of North Texas AIS student chapter is to provide student members networking opportunities with professionals in the information technology industry. First and foremost, the chapter realized that in order to meet the goal, they must bridge the gap between Business Computer Information Systems students and potential employers. One way they accomplished this was by hosting twelve companies from different industries to present at bi-weekly meetings. I know personally I really enjoyed the range of companies that we had. It helped me learn about different opportunities within IS that I hadn’t even considered, and I enjoyed hearing about the different approaches that each company takes in IS,” said current vice president, Keith Chamberlain. Companies that participated in this event included:
- Hitachi Consulting
- Fidelity Investments
- Wingspan Portfolio Advisors
- No Magic Inc.
- Santander Consumer USA
- Labatt Food Services
To prepare members for potential interactions with future employers, the UNT AIS student chapter also hosted a resume and mock interview workshop with two faculty members from the UNT career center. Members could then attend an etiquette dinner that outlined the proper protocol to follow during business meetings and meals.
Bridging the gap between students and professionals goes beyond networking and etiquette knowledge. It also includes fine tuning technical skills. UNT AIS members had the opportunity to attend a two-day Windows 8 workshop to learn about the operating system and how to navigate the new user interface. Those who attended learned to incorporate touch-base input controls, utilize developer tools, and compete in a grouped hack-a-thon game.
Many members appreciated the opportunities their UNT AIS student chapter had to offer them and saw being a member as beneficial to their future. “The professional development helped in showing me real world skills that are needed to successfully get a job and how important networking is. This was my first semester being with AIS and I definitely see the value of being a part of AIS as I continue my education and into my career,” said Chamberlain.