Ahead of the Competition: Sam Macaluso '15 (MIS and Operations Management)

MIS Student Earns 2014 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award

Sam Macaluso

2014 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Sam Macaluso grew up in West Windsor, New Jersey where he attended West Windsor Plainsboro High School South. Macaluso began college at Syracuse University before coming to the University of Arizona. “My dad was a huge influence on my decision to come to UA,” he explained. “He was one of the first students to complete Eller’s entrepreneurship program and he described his experience as nothing short of amazing.” Additionally, because of Macaluso’s love of sports, the UA track team was a deciding factor.

While going through the pre-business courses, Macaluso was unsure about his decision to study business. “Then I took Steve Reff’s ECON 200 class, and that’s when I knew I made the right decision.” He explained the difficulty of the course, and Reff’s commitment to making the subject enjoyable.

When it came time to declare a major, Macaluso was torn between finance and MIS. “Ultimately, I made my decision based on the quality of the MIS program and its outstanding rank,” he said. “I knew it was a strong program that would present numerous job opportunities to pursue after graduation.”

Throughout his time at the school, Macaluso has run for the UA track team. He and his fellow Arizona runner, Stephanie Bulder, were recently recognized as 2014 scholar athletes of the year. “I found out through a text from a teammate,” Macaluso laughed. “I had no idea before he sent me the article.” Macaluso was honored with the award during a presentation at the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships.

One thing Macaluso has learned while at the UA and Eller is to manage a busy agenda. “Between Eller group projects, traveling on the weekends for meets, and practicing six days a week, I’ve learned a lot about commitment,” he explained. “It’s taught me to be reliable while working in a group and I’ve learned to balance a complicated schedule.”

“Every MIS professor emphasizes taking advantage of the ranked program and degree we’re graduating with,” he continued. “I took their advice and constantly explored career options and took advantage of the career fair.” The career fair scored Macaluso the internship that he completed this past summer, with USAA as a software developer in San Antonio, Texas. “I enjoy being involved with a company where I’m able to indirectly work with military members without being a government entity.” At the conclusion of the internship, Macaluso received and accepted a job offer to work as a software developer in Dallas, Texas, upon his graduation in May.

Macaluso attributes much of his success to always pursuing what he wants instead of waiting for opportunities to arise on their own. “You can’t wait for things to come to you,” he said. “Whether it’s attending a career fair, or going into a professor’s office hours for extra help; the worst they can say is no.”