MIS Career Management for Students

 

  

MIS Career Management is here to assist you with your career and professional development needs. We courage you to meet with us and stay active with the MIS Career Management team during your time in the program and even after you graduate!

Make an appointments on Handshake. Otherwise, we do have an open door policy. Come see us for customized help!

McClelland Hall 420 and 422
Monday-Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

We require that you come in for an appointment so that we can review your resume and cover letter in depth and provide customized feedback based on your job or internship search needs. While there are many ways you can write resumes and cover letters, there are accepted standards that you should follow.

Tailoring your resume and cover letter is extremely important to show the employer you took the time to invest in the position and especially due to Applicant Tracking Systems, which 90% of companies use. Make sure to tailor your documents and utilize standard resume formatting guidelines to ensure you pass through the system.

Jobscan utilizes an algorithm similar to an ATS so that you can compare your resume to a job description you are applying for and put it to the test! Jobscan will give you a match rate based on how your resume aligns with the job description. Jobscan also has a great learning center for you to discover top resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn tips.


Internships and Job Searching

We encourage you to make an appointment with us to discuss your specific internship and job search plans.

MIS is the only major that focuses on both business processes and information technology.

MIS professionals possess these skills:

  • Problem-solving
  • Ability to work in teams
  • Communication
  • Strategic thinking
  • Developing and implementing ideas
  • Bridging technology and business

MIS Job Functions (only a sample):

  • Business Analytics
  • Business Intelligence
  • Data Analytics/Science
  • Technical or IT
  • Consulting
  • Cyber Security
  • IT Auditing
  • IT/Systems Analysis
  • Software Engineering
  • Product/Project Management
  • Web Development
  • IT Operations

Create Your Account. Every UA student and recent graduate has an account on Handshake. Activate your account by signing in with your NetID.

Complete Your Profile. The more you put in, the more you get out. When you complete your profile and update your career interests, Handshake provides you with more customized results. Handshake recommends jobs, employers and events tailored just for you based on your major, graduation year, profile and your career interests. When completing your profile, you can choose whether or not to make it public to employers. If you make it public, you can see which employers take a look.

Apply. On Handshake, you can search and apply for on-campus jobs, internships and full-time opportunities with employers recruiting UA students and alumni.

Career Events. Handshake connects you with campus career events, like career fairs, employer information sessions, workshops and networking events.

Appointments. Schedule an appointment with MIS Career Management to discuss your resume and cover letter, interviewing, job/internship searching or any professional development needs you have.

LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor and specific company websites are just a few of the places you should utilize to look for jobs and internships.

Applying online is only one part of the equation. You need to be actively networking in order to make the most of your job search. Hundreds of candidates are also applying online, so you should supplement your application by making genuine connections with MIS professionals and UA alumni.

We encourage students to attend career fairs, both on campus and across the country through conferences or professional organizations.

A couple of fairs that happen every semester at UA:

You can find all of the job/internship opportunities and employers attending the career fairs on campus on Handshake.

How to Prepare

  • Research and Create a Plan. Research the companies attending the career fair and the positions they are recruiting for prior to attending. Create a plan of what companies you want to meet with and come with specific knowledge and questions you want to ask each company based on your research.
  • Bring Resumes & Dress Professionally.
  • Prepare Your Elevator Pitch. Because you will have done your research, your elevator pitch should be tailored to each employer that you meet with. Don’t just repeat your canned pitch, have a genuine conversation.
  • Follow up. Connect with the individuals you met after the fair or conference on LinkedIn and thank them for their time.

Tools to help you research salaries, consider your relocation options, and navigate the negotiation process:

  • LinkedIn Salary. Discover your earning potential with detailed salaries by job title and location.
  • Glassdoor. Search salaries and compensation by job title, company and location.
  • Payscale. Whether you're relocating, considering a new position, or negotiating a raise, knowing your worth based on your skills and experience can ensure you're compensated fairly.
  • CNN Money. Cost of living calculator. Find out how far your current salary will go in another city.

Schedule an appointment to discuss the negotiation process.


Networking

Networking isn’t just about meeting people so that they can provide you with something like a job, it is a mutually beneficial relationship. You should think about how you can be a good connection to someone as well. Engage in networking even when you are not actively searching for positions and even after landing your job, it is a lifelong process.

You should practice your pitch, but it should never sound rehearsed. You want to tell your unique story, including your education, skills, relevant background and career interests, while personalizing it to each person you meet with.

An informational interview is a conversation within someone who has expertise in a career or is currently working for a company you are interested in. This could be alumni or industry professionals. The purpose is for you to learn about their career path, gain advice and build a relationship that could lead referrals or opportunities down the road. It is not asking someone for a job.

Request no more than a 15-20 minute phone conversation, showing you are respectful of their time.

You can reach out to contacts via email or LinkedIn. Below is an example message. Make sure to always indicate why you are reaching out and display that your goals is to learn.

Dear Mr. Walker,

My name is John Smith, and I am a first year UA Master’s MIS student who found your information on the UA Alumni LinkedIn page. May I have 20 minutes to ask you about your experience with XYZ company? I am trying to learn more about Business Intelligence in companies in the Bay area, and your insight would be very helpful.

I recognize this may be a busy time for you, so if we are unable to connect, I’ll try to reach you next week to see whether that is more convenient.

Thank you for your time,

John Smith

The TIARA framework

The TIARA framework (Steve Dalton) is a great protocol for informational interviews. It breaks the interview into 3 steps:

Small Talk: Get to know the person you are speaking with and show genuine interest. The conversation should start off casual but professional.

Questions & Answers: Knowing the right questions to ask will dramatically improve your ability to turn information interviews into job interviews or referrals. The ideal questions are open-ended, engage the contact and are generic enough to be durable over multiple conversations. The conversation should really about the contact, not you. “The ideal outcome is that the contact begins to view your job search success as a reflection of her own ability to give good advice/be an effective mentor.

Below is a sample of some questions you could ask while using the TIARA method.

  1. Trends: What trends are impacting your business right now?
  2. Insights: Questions become gradually more personable. What surprises you most about your job/employer? What is the best lesson you have learned on the job? Questions become gradually more personable.
  3. Advice: You want to try and convert the contact into a mentor by having them provide you with some wisdom. What can I do right now to prepare myself for a career in this field? If you were me, what would you do right now to maximize your chances to break into this industry?
  4. Resources: Resources could be people, places or things. If the resources is a person, you have found a good contact! When a referral is offered, commit and schedule a follow-up. If you do not receive a referral or contact, do not ask for one, you can ask for one during another conversation. What resources should I look into?
  5. Assignments: What projects have you done that have added the most value? Have you had interns in the past, if so what types of projects have they done?(adapted from Steve Dalton’s 2 hour job search).
  6. The best case result of your interview is that the contact likes you and thinks you would be a good fit and refers you, but this is usually not the case in the first conversation. Thank them for their time and ask if you can reach back out after you reflect on your conversation and implement some of their advice

“Our time is up, but thank you so much for your time today—you’ve given me a lot to think about, and it sounds like you’re working for a great organization. I’m going to take a few days to process all of the information you’ve shared. If, on reflection, it seems like your organization and I may make a good mutual fit, is it OK if I reach back out to you to get your recommendations for how to best proceed from here?”

Next Steps: Always thank the person for their time and send a follow-up thank you note the next day. Check in with your contact and update them on your career progress. Let them know you are building your network in your field. If you still do not get a referral, keep the contact in your list but move on.

Remember, do not bug people and be respectful of their time. If a contact doesn’t get back to you, focus on reaching out to other individuals who work at the companies you are interested in. Know that many of your classmates may be reaching out to the same alumni you are.

Create and Optimize Your Profile 

Recruiters are using LinkedIn now more than ever to find quality candidates. According to LinkedIn, profiles that include a photo are 21 times more likely to be viewed and 9 times more likely to receive connection requests.

Watch this video and download this checklist to up date your profile.

Connect

If you are reaching out to connect with someone on LinkedIn, you should also customize your message and “add a note.” Discuss who you are and why you are reaching out.

Connect with alumni and individuals who work in the companies that you are interested in. Reach out to them and ask for an informational interview.

Alumni Tool

Use the LinkedIn Alumni Tool to search for UA alumni who work in the industry and companies you are interested in. You can filter by city, company, and any keyword, such as MIS. The alumni tool is a great way to discover companies in your industry, explore career paths, conduct informational interviews and to build your network with alumni in your field.

Join groups and follow companies

Joining LinkedIn groups related to your career interests will allow you to identify possible connections and opportunities. Join the UA Alumni Group as a student with over 30,000 members. Following companies you are interested in will allow you to stay up to date with what is happening in the organization. Recruiters will also be able to see that you are following their organization, this will enhance your search engine optimization, and will allow you to easily connect with other professionals who follow these companies as well. You can set your career interests and have LinkedIn notify you when jobs you might be interested in are posted. LinkedIn can show you alumni or people in your network who work at the companies or jobs you are interested in.


Interviewing

Before the Interview

You should do your research on the company and position to show the employer that you are interested and informed about the opportunity. Your responses in your interview should align with the position requirements and what the company is seeking in a candidate. Look for ways to showcase your strengths and your research in your answers. You can use resources like Glassdoor, the company’s website and social media, and insights from individuals who work there.

Before you interview with an employer, you should also discover how much the role you are interviewing for makes within the location or company. Or have at least a general idea of the salary range for the particular type of role. An employer could ask you as early as the first round of interviews what your expected salary is.

Be prepared for:

Traditional interview questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses
  • Why are you interested in this position?

Behavioral interview questions

  • Tell me about a time when you worked in a team.
  • Describe a time when you effectively handled conflict with a coworker or team member.
  • Tell me about a time you had to solve a problem in your work.
  • You will answer these questions using the STAR Method.
    • Situation. Describe the situation.
    • Task. Identify you/ your team’s responsibilities and roles.
    • Action. Focus on the steps you took and the skills you used.
    • Result. Clearly identify the outcome, what you learned, or the accomplishments.

Technical questions

You may encounter technical questions in your interview. You can anticipate the types of questions you may be asked based on the role you are interviewing for. Brush up on your technical knowledge before the interview. Most importantly, the employer just wants to know how you would approach the problem, there may not be a right answer. Outline the steps you would take and show the employer your thought process with the technical expertise that you have. Do not get flustered by these types of questions.

Case Interviews

A case interview is when an employer presents a business scenario to you and wants you to propose a solution to the prompt. Just like the technical questions, this is to test your analytical and problem-solving skills. Approach your answer the same way you would for a technical question.

Schedule a mock interview appointment with MIS Career Management to practice your interview skills and receive feedback.

Big Interview is an online system that combines training and practice to help improve your interview technique, including:

  • Virtual mock interviews for all experience levels and industries.
  • A database of thousands of interview questions and tips on how to answer them.
  • The ability to rate and share your interview answers for feedback.

To register:

  • Go to ellermis-arizona.biginterview.com and click "Register".
  • Enter your UA email address, name, and password, and click “Create my Account”
  • You will receive a confirmation email. Click "Verify" in the email, and you'll be able to start using Big Interview.
  • Watch this video if you need help with registration.

During the Interview

Dress professionally to your interview and develop a good relationship with your interviewers. Be yourself while also being professional! Pay attention to your nonverbal and verbal etiquette. During the interview is the time for you to evaluate if the company is the right fit for you. Interviewing is a two way street, you want to make sure that you evaluate the company’s culture and the opportunity by asking thoughtful questions and evaluating the environment and people you will be working with. You do not have to accept every offer that you receive, you want to find a position that aligns with your goals and personal values.

After the Interview

Send a thank you email within 24 hours of your interview. Mention specific things that you discussed in your interview. Do not send the same email to everyone that you talked to. Restate your fit with the position/company and your interest in the opportunity.

If you do not hear from the employer by the timeline they provided you, you should follow up on your status via email.

You have several options when it comes to evaluating an offer. You can:

Accept the offer.

Once you have received an offer, you should accept verbally and in writing. After you have accepted an offer with a company, you should withdraw from any other interview processes or applications. Respectfully inform other employers that you have accepted another position and thank them for their time. Accepting a job offer and then turning it down later (reneging) is considered unprofessional and unethical.

Decline the offer.

You may to choose to decline the offer because it was not a good fit, the salary did not meet your expectations, or you have chosen to go with another opportunity. You can decline an offer via email or verbally.

Ask for more time.

If you need more time to evaluate the offer, ask for it but know an employer will not always give it to you. Or if you are interviewing with other companies, you should let the employer who gave you the offer know. Always be honest with the employer and let them know that you are trying to make the best decision for yourself and them and see if they can provide you with more time to evaluate the opportunities.


Other Resources

University of Arizona Student Engagement and Career Development is the main career center on campus with career fairs, resources, and events for all students and alumni.

The Eller Professional Development Center offers student appointments (for undergraduates only), resources, and career fairs that are open to all students, including graduate students.


Career Events and Opportunities

MIS Career Management holds career events every semester, like workshops, career treks, and networking events. Dates and times of events can be found on Handshake.

MISA, Management Information Systems Association, for undergraduates

MISGA, Management Information Systems Graduate Association, are student run organizations that provide MIS students networking, educational, and social opportunities.


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