Villanova Management Information Systems (MIS) - Jeanette Ding

Jeanette Ding smiles at the camera

Jeanette is a senior, doubling-majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) and Finance with a minor in Business Analytics. She's pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Villanova School of Business at Villanova University and is expected to graduate in May 2016. Here's what she told ValuePenguin about her experience at 'Nova:

What has your experience in the program been like at Villanova University? Were there other schools you were considering, and if so, why did you choose this one?

My experiences at the Villanova School of Business (VSB) have been both dynamic and rewarding. VSB has provided me with numerous growth opportunities right from the start.  During my freshman year, I was selected as one of 16 students to spend one semester abroad through VSB’s inaugural Global Citizens Program (GCP) in Singapore, completing coursework and partaking in an eight-week international internship. GCP was one of the main determinants that led me to ultimately choose to attend Villanova.

When I was undergoing the college selection process, I was deciding between Villanova University and Drexel University. Drexel was known for its practical co-op programs which would have provided invaluable experiences for a business major like me. However, Villanova provided me with opportunities to pursue these professional work experiences and more.

After joining the VSB family, I found myself growing both personally and professionally. What’s special about VSB is its emphasis on professional development and understanding the true importance of expanding your network. Through joining various societies on campus and specifically the business societies, I was able to meet many professionals across industries and learn from their experiences. VSB pushed me to step out of my shell and embrace these new experiences.

During my junior year, I was fortunate enough to serve as the president of the MIS Society. It was the most gratifying leadership role I’d had yet, as I was not only able to grow the society, but this also allowed me to give back to Villanova. I then went on to represent Villanova as the Philadelphia SIM Award recipient my junior year. This award was granted to the top MIS junior who exemplified potential in both academics and leadership. I was honored to accept this award and truly happy to represent Villanova. VSB has been my home away from home, and I’m truly thankful for everyone who made my experience special.    

What influenced you to pursue that particular major/career?

When I enrolled at Villanova, I knew I wanted to pursue business but didn’t know which particular major would be a good fit. During my first two years of college, I attended many networking sessions and firm events to learn more about different industries and career paths. I also joined various business societies in order to meet more people and hear their insights.

After attending a design thinking workshop at SAP America, I met the MIS Society faculty advisor and she suggested that I join MIS Society. At that time, I had just finished my audit internship and realized accounting may not be the right fit for me. I wanted to explore something new and eventually became Secretary of the MIS Society. This allowed me to get heavily involved with the major, and I found myself growing increasingly interested in technology. 

I also chose to major in MIS because technology is an integral part of every organization and understanding the link between business and technology is an invaluable skill to have. In addition, I chose to major in finance because finance provides me with a fundamental understanding of how businesses function and how the markets move. Having both MIS and finance under my belt definitely provides me with a competitive advantage and has helped me in my search for internships.  

Have you participated in any internships? If so, how many, how were they, and did you find the schools resources to be helpful in helping you find this opportunity?

I am fortunate enough to have held three unique internship experiences during my college career. My first internship was with KPMG’s audit practice when I studied abroad in Singapore my freshman year. It exposed me to the professional services industry and to a career in accounting. I gained hands-on international experiences and learned to work well in a fast-paced environment. However, I also found through this internship that accounting was not the best fit for me.

After my sophomore year, I interned with SAP America in its Mission Control Center in Newtown Square, Pa. This internship was better aligned with my MIS major and gave me a high level overview of how SAP supports its customers from positioning of services and deals through to maintaining their productive systems. 

Finally, after my junior year, I interned with Deloitte Consulting as a Business Technology Analyst Summer Scholar in Philadelphia, Pa. As an intern, I was given the full experience – ample client face time, challenging work, and rewarding experiences. I was able to leverage my business acumen and technical knowledge to better serve my client and Deloitte.

I am truly lucky to not only have held three internships but to have worked at prestigious, global firms. Villanova was instrumental in my securing my KPMG internship freshman year.  Several students and I were presented with the opportunity to interview with KPMG as freshmen solely because we had a Villanova connection in the Singapore member firm. That was when I realized the great power of the Nova network. 

Furthermore, my MIS professor introduced to me the internship position at SAP. Again, VSB played a large role in my professional endeavors. And last but not least, I secured my Deloitte internship through attending its national leadership conference sophomore year. I found out about this conference through my involvement with the Accounting Society at the time. 

Truly, VSB has opened many doors for me to pursue various internship experiences and solidify my true career aspirations. 

What are your future career plans and aspirations?

I aspire to be a technology consultant who can leverage my business acumen and passion for technology to help businesses redefine their strategy and optimize processes in order to execute more efficient and dynamic operations. As an MIS/Finance double major, with a minor in Business Analytics, I hope to utilize my knowledge to support a wide array of businesses, contributing to their vision, and realizing my dream as a consultant through their success. 

I look forward to pursuing my goals by starting my career at Deloitte Consulting as a Business Technology Analyst next fall. 

What has been the most challenging aspect of this area of study, and was this something you had originally anticipated?

MIS has always been a good fit for me since it aligned my interests in both business and technology. However, as much as I love MIS, there were some challenges that I had anticipated.  Due to the constant evolution and disruption in the field of technology, I knew I needed to constantly stay up-to-date on new technology trends and products/services.

This posed a challenge when I’m also heavily involved in school, work, and extra-curricular activities.  However, I learned to better prioritize my time in order to read more about these tech trends and still be able to keep up with my studies.   

What advice would you give someone else trying to break into this field?

Advice for any college student would be to keep your options open and to network and learn as much as you can. People can learn a lot from simply by attending networking events and having a candid conversation with professionals.

It’s one thing to go to that event and get that business card, but another to follow up and keep in touch. I have found that many times, your next project or next job will be dependent on how you leverage your network. It’s important to surround yourself with the smartest of people and learn as much as you can from them.  

Is there anything you wish you had known about this major ahead of time before choosing this career path?

VSB provided me with ample resources before I selected my majors and minors and so I came in relatively prepared. All VSB sophomores are required to take core classes in accounting, finance, marketing, management, MIS, business analytics, and corporate responsibility and regulations. These introductory classes allowed me to explore my interests and ultimately make an educated decision on which major would be a good fit for me. 

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