Jeremy Witchel is a junior in the Management Information Systems major, a relatively new major at Chatham, staring in Fall 2015. Jeremy has a long history with Chatham: beginning in middle school, he attended Sunday School on campus. Back then, the university was not yet a co-ed institution. Jeremy and his parents would often joke that if Chatham ever became co-ed that he should consider attending. Coincidentally, that happened during the summer between his sophomore and junior years of high school, and Jeremy became the first male applicant, accepted male student, and committed male student to Chatham even before his senior year of high school!
When Jeremy entered Chatham, he assumed he would follow in the family tradition of social work; however, his course work soon ignited a new passion. A Java course instructed by Professor Tim James, Product Technology Manager at Google, ignited his interest in the tech world. Jeremy changed his major from social work to the newly offered major Management Information Systems. Not only was technology intriguing to Jeremy, he also liked the business components that came with the new major. If it weren’t for Professor James’ introduction, Jeremy may have never known he had a different interest.
In addition to his academic studies, Jeremy participates in extra-curricular activities that make him well-rounded. He currently works for the Department of Institutional Research at Chatham University to revitalize their Tableau and data visualization efforts. Additionally, he is a Resident Assistant (RA), President/Co-Founder of the Jewish Students’ Association, and is helping form a Management Information Systems club.
While attending Chatham, many students find themselves taking on positions to help increase their understanding about their majors. During his two years of employment in Chatham’s Admissions Department, after being a tour guide, Jeremy was promoted to inventory analyst. In this position, he created a system to track office inventory movement and use, and it is still being used today! This experience exposed him to the day-to-day workings of an office, learning an important lesson: “I learned to expect nothing and prepare for everything.” Jeremy often saw that through the normal course of the day, the planned schedule would not occur for some reason, and the staff would have to quickly adjust to the new situation. Jeremy has applied this lesson in other professional settings as well.
In summer 2017, Jeremy worked at Mylan as a Data Visualization and User Experience Intern. Mylan is a locally-based pharmaceutical company. His experience from working in Admissions and knowledge learned in various classes prepared him. Admissions provided him insights into office politics and how to interact with supervisors and other employees. This experience also gave him the ability to be a more active thinker. While working at Mylan, Jeremy produced a dashboard for metadata to see a variety of information for the commercial finance department, and they were thrilled. In addition to being behind the scenes working on dashboards, Jeremy often sat in on meetings with senior leaders, such as the Global HR and E-Commerce directors. The meetings mostly consisted of them overseeing the work that has been done with the new programs and discussing future projects.
Having been recently hired to do visual analytics at Chatham’s Institutional Research (IR) Department with Director Robert Zhang, Jeremy applied his previous dashboard experience, but this time, he also incorporated data that was on Tableau which can be seen here. This was an experiment to show the IR Department the potential data visualization benefits of the program. Jeremy is currently determining his next steps. He initially wanted to work in the cyber security realm, but after his experience at Mylan, especially working with Tableau, and after being told by B&E Department former director Dr. Rachel Chung the Institutional Research Department had a Tableau license, he became interested in working with the department. He reached out to Robert Zhang to innovate some already deployed dashboards on student performance, student enrollment, and faculty information. Jeremy’s goal is to improve the dashboards.
Witchel has recently accepted another internship position with US Steel where he will be utilizing Tableau and Alteryx. With all of the skills being gained while at Chatham, Witchel sees himself potentially attending graduate school, and his career plan is to work in Big Data at a large corporation such as PNC or BNY Mellon.
Sydney Penn is a first year MBA student concentrating in project management. She received her undergraduate degree at Chatham University in interior architecture. Although she has changed her field of study from undergrad to grad school, she hopes to marry the two disciplines.