Thursday, April 26, 2012
ATiB projects add value for students, sponsors
There’s a reason the graduates of SBA’s Applied Technology in Business minor have no trouble getting jobs.
“Employers love ATiB students and graduates,” says Kieran Mathieson, associate professor, information systems, and ATiB program director. “Even in a slow economy, the ATiB employment rate is high because the students understand their major area, the business function and how IT fits in. Sponsors often hire their project team members as interns or employees because of their proven skill set.”
Through a blend of rigorous business and IT coursework, and the completion of sponsor projects, undergraduate business students learn effective business problem-solving skills and project management while building their professional resumes before they graduate. This unique business minor is sponsored by companies throughout the nation.
ATiB is open to junior and senior business students regardless of their business major. They put their newly learned IT skills to work on real projects sponsored by companies seeking technological solutions. Whether it's for a new database or website, companies quickly learn that by partnering with ATiB, they gain implementable solutions as well as access to an educated, skilled and highly trained potential employee base.
Since its formation in 1997, more than 80 companies have tapped ATiB's brainpower to develop business solutions with a focus on IT.
In the 2011-12 academic year, ATiB teams worked on the following projects:
- GM Technical Education Program (TEP) -- database system supporting GM's global training activities (see related story)
- GM KC - database system assisting with other aspects of global training, particularly financial
- Potencium - Web site for a management communications consulting company
- Improvement Path Systems - Web site for a healthcare analytics company
- OU community service system - Web application to help administer OU's service learning activities
- Elson Spangler - Web site to promote and sell a memoir by a WWII veteran (see related story)
- Children of Israel - Web site for an orphanage in Haiti
- Psi Chi - new Web site for OU student organization
- Detroit revitalization - Web site to help publicize efforts to demolish abandoned homes
- Personal branding - template for a personal branding Web site for students
ATiB students also love ATiB. From the real work skills to the team building that happens, ATiB graduates value their experience in the program.
Spring 2012 graduate Logan Fulk put it well at the ATiB graduation dinner: “We have all learned so much in ATIB, from HTML to Drupal. I never thought I would be able to make a website, let alone understand the code for it. But here I stand today with that knowledge. I have already been hired by two small businesses to create them websites. Each and everything we learned added another weapon for our hunt for a real job out of school.
“I can tell you first hand that not even out of college ATiB helped me land my job at an outpatient clinic. My boss saw my internship with General Motors’ via ATiB and then skills I learned in programs like Excel and Access. And I have no doubt this helped me in the door there."
When he first learned about ATiB, Fulk recalls thinking: “In my head my dream of going out into the business world was tackling projects with a well-rounded team; each person bringing something different to the table. To me this is what ATIB sounded like. Students from all different avenues of the business school combined to use their knowledge and skills to complete projects, and all for real companies.”
And that’s exactly what it is.
Learn more about the ATiB program at www.oakland.edu/atib.