Scholastic & Professional Growth: University of Alabama Birmingham

In order to maintain an active interest and a high level of commitment to the success of the organization, the AIS student chapter at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is an honors chapter with a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 and expects all members to participate in a specific number of meetings and events. These requirements have not only differentiated the AIS student chapter from other student organizations on campus, the recruitment strategy places a great emphasis on the sustainability of their brand. “Our AIS student chapter truly believes in UAB’s slogan ‘knowledge will change your world;”’ thus, we emphasize on the importance of having our members achieve scholastically and grow professionally,” said current UAB AIS student chapter president, Lila Azerf.

One of UAB’s key goals for their student chapter is for members to achieve scholastically and grow professionally through their involvement in AIS. As a new benefit, the chapter began offering members the opportunity to be certified Microsoft Technology Associate in one of the follow areas at no cost to the member:

  • VC and C# Software Development
  • Windows Development
  • .Net
  • HTML 5
  • Gaming Development
  • Mobile Apps
  • Web Development
  • Windows Server Admin
  • Windows OS
  • Networking Fundamentals
  • Security Fundamentals
  • Database Administration Fundamentals

The UAB Management, Information Systems, and Quantitative Methods Department provides the chapter $1,000 each year for the development of the chapter and its members.  This departmental support allows the chapter to fund the certification program for its members. “This opportunity allows our members to build their resume by allowing them to learn beyond what is offered in the classrooms. Members who take advantage of this certification prepare themselves for the real world by giving themselves an advantage over their own peers,” said Azerf. Taking the certification courses also speaks volumes to future employers, showing them that the student is willing to go above and beyond expectations to acquire training and fine-tune their skills.

The UAB-AIS chapter also “believes in hard work and helping those who are trying to learn,” says Aserf. In addition to offering quality education opportunities and advancements specifically to their members, the officers worked to extend their services to business students needing assistance in IS courses offered at UAB. After lobbying and receiving permission to make use of a campus computer lab for nine hours a week, the IS Learning Center was opened. Officers volunteered their time to assist students seeking help with homework or projects in their information systems courses. Through these efforts, more than 100 students have received assistance at the IS Learning Center, which tremendously benefited students struggling in C#, database, Microsoft Excel, Access, and other IS related courses.

The UAB-AIS chapter, though small compared to some, strives to be the best they can be in every aspect; thus producing quality work and preparing quality students for their future careers in the IS industry. “We really put emphasis on the importance of networking, actively participating, getting involved within the Birmingham community, and showing how being a member of the AIS Student Chapter at UAB would help [students] grow professionally and scholastically,” said Azerf. “With our small group of about 30 members, we strongly strive to promote our organization and actively be linked within the campus and community.”