The University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D) is a commuter campus located in southeast Michigan with approximately 6,800 students. Approximately 1,450 Undergraduate and 400 Graduate students are enrolled in the College of Business (COB). The Information Technology Management (ITM) major has seen significant growth over the past few years, by more than doubling in size. Currently, there are approximately 70 students confirmed as ITM majors. Under the oversight of Faculty Advisor Lise Urbaczewski, the ITM Club has grown in the past few years from what was once a club with only a handful of active members to one of the most popular student organizations on campus, with a current active member list of 30 students. This is achieved through many different recruiting methods, such as student mentoring, where club officers are assigned to students who are interested in joining the club; social events, in which the club invites new and interested students for events such as Bowling night or Game Day; and professional events to spark the interest of the ITM Major in general.
The ITM Club keeps its Club meetings fresh and exciting by inviting guest speakers from a wide range of IT positions and perspectives. One such speaker was Rich Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations and a University of Michigan Alumnus. The ITM Club also had speakers for Agile Project Management, as well as the CIO for the City of Dearborn, Doug Feldkamp. Another rewarding experience comes from lending resources to help fellow students. Several times a year, the club hosts “Cram Day”, which is an open tutoring session for all ITM students. In order to continue developing the professional network of the ITM Club, the ITM Club reaches out to both ITM alumni and corporate partners. This has provided many opportunities for students to gain jobs, knowledge, and networking opportunities through AIS and the ITM Club.
When asked what the hardest aspect was of managing the ITM Club this year, they responded with one main topic: funding. Since there is not a significant amount of funding given to school clubs, the ITM Club has constantly looked at and tried new ways to raise funds and budget money for chapter operations throughout the entire school year. As a show of financial integrity and smart money management, they refuse to leave an empty bank for new club officers coming in the following school year. However, this year in particular proved to be challenging, as not only did the ITM Club have to raise funds for club operation, but also a large amount of money for the trip to the AIS student chapter conference in April. The cost of sending a team to the conference practically doubled their fundraising goals for the year, and although it created a challenge, it was also pushed them for new ideas. With the success of larger fundraising goals, this year, the ITM Club has focused more on larger events, grants, and sponsorships, rather than smaller events, such as multiple bake sales and restaurant fundraisers.
In the upcoming school year, the UM-D chapter will be lead under new Co-Presidents Kelly Turner and Joshua Hohner. The chapter has already set a goal of reaching out to other AIS student chapters in the Detroit area, as well as to schools who might be interested in forming AIS student Chapters. In addition, the chapter has already set a goal of educating high school students of the opportunities of pursuing a path in an Information Technology related education and career. The ITM Club is indeed a chapter looking to set the bar to new heights.