Tuesday with Tulsa: MIS Faculty Member

Today’s Tuesday with Tulsa blog post was written by Dr. Lori Leonard, Associate Professor of MIS at The University of Tulsa. We asked her to tell us about the Management Information Systems program at TU. Here’s what she had to say…

I am often asked about the MIS program and why it is less heard of than other business programs such as accounting and finance.  My answer generally is, “when people hear the word computers, they immediately think of computer science.”  MIS is business-based, where as computer science is not.  If you like technology and business, read on to learn more about what an MIS degree can do for you.

What is the value of a Management Information Systems (MIS) degree?  MIS involves designing information systems that make the business run better and developing technological solutions that match the business needs.  That means that a fundamental understanding of business is needed along with considering the value of computer technology.  MIS is difficult to outsource because the MIS professional has to be present to interact with other business units on a daily basis in order to ensure the technology is working for them.  Since all businesses use technology, every industry needs MIS majors, which means many job opportunities!  MIS is a great major because it allows movement into different job functions as you progress through your career as well.

Why join the MIS program at TU?  The MIS program enjoys small classes with a few, dedicated faculty.  The program has approximately 45 majors which means that class sizes are anywhere between 10 and 20.  The MIS professors know each student’s name and care about the success of the students.  Students also are able to interact with the same peers in projects throughout their MIS courses.  That translates into a lot of individualized attention and hands-on interaction!

Do MIS students find internships and full-time employment?  Typically, there is 100% placement in MIS positions.  That is because there is a shortage of MIS students versus MIS positions.  This is good news for a prospective MIS student!  Not only is placement high but the average starting salary is $55,000, with some starting salaries being in the high-$60s.  Starting MIS jobs typically fall into one of three categories: (1) designing technology solutions for businesses whose core business in not technology, (2) consulting with different clients to develop and deploy solutions, or (3) providing technical sales and service support.  There are also internship opportunities.  While internships are not required for the MIS degree, many students are employed in paid summer internships that can translate into full-time positions upon completion.

How can I find out more about the MIS degree program?  The MIS faculty are always glad to discuss how MIS can fit in your future.  Call, write, or stop by anytime! Dr. Lori Leonard, lori-leonard@utulsa.edu, (918) 631-2787, Helmerich Hall, Room 313.

Apartment life = minor burns.

Oh man. Things get so busy so fast! I think I had two days of free time at the beginning of the semester but that stage of life appears to have passed by. Now days are filled with class, reading, cooking (apartment life, what???) and cramming in quality time with friends. There is no time to be wasted!

Apartment life was kind of a surprise for me! I didn’t even think about how it would affect my social life, but the atmosphere is a lot quieter. I am still getting used to it but from what I hear, I’ll get really used to having my space and never want to go back to dorm life… haha, we’ll see. It really is nice to have a kitchen, though. I’ve been doing some cooking lately. In fact, I just boiled my finger. I meant to boil some chicken (I’m making a casserole! How grown-up, right?) but I somehow, in the process, stuck my finger in the boiling water for several seconds before my body sensed pain. Owww! The other day I made some quesadillas that turned out to be delicious and I only had one minor burn!

As for the update on my academic life… I love my classes! Okay, 50% of them. But I think that’s a pretty good ratio for “love”. One of my favorite classes is about databases. Doesn’t that sound boring? Yeah, I am pretty sure everybody else in the class hates it. Therefore, they probably hate me for obviously loving it. I’m that girl!! AHH!! In any event, I think my internship this summer really helped me to appreciate my MIS classes more.

My social life has definitely picked up recently, probably due to my recent debut on Fox 23 news (watch the video), haha. I have also been taking advantage of first-week-of-school open-mindedness that allows me to question random students to find out who they are and where they’re from! Recently I made friends with a group of international students here from Europe – the Germans, Swiss and Spanish, and even a few from Singapore! They seem to be a fun group that I will hopefully spend more time with. (It was recently brought to my attention that readers of my blog must think Stef is my only friend. Does it look like I have more now?! I hope it worked.)

Well, I am almost back into my college-life sleep patterns (I even went to the gym at 10:30 tonight!) but nottt quite there, so I am signing off at 12:08 AM!!