Daniela Beck is aiming to receive an interdisciplinary degree in Management Information Systems (MIS) and International Business, and expects to graduate in 2019. Referred to Chatham by a friend, Daniela has been devoted to the university since her first visit to the Shadyside campus.
“When I learned about the many opportunities that our university has (such as study abroad vouchers, cross enrollment at other local colleges, and the amount of opportunities in technology here in the city), I knew that this was my top choice. I applied that fall with Early Decision and have not looked back since.”
The daughter of a Colombian immigrant, Daniela’s life has always had a cross-cultural touch to it. Her heritage and bilingual abilities prepared her to mingle in the world of international business. Although Daniela did not commit herself to MIS until she was 16, she recalls, “Growing up, I can vividly remember spending hours upon hours on my parents’ home computer trying to figure out how it all worked. Since then, I have known that I wanted to be involved in this field in some shape or form.” The MIS major suits Daniela’s wants, coupling computer science and business, thus opening the doors to technological applications in many topical areas.
Management Information Systems is still a relatively new major at Chatham, entering its third year. Even more recently formed was the MIS/Analytics Club, to which Daniela has been integral as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Having launched in the Spring 2018 semester, the club has already held a “Hack-a-thon” and a kickoff event including professional networking and a student panel. With developments in tech erupting across the region, the Chatham and Pittsburgh communities should keep an eye on this dynamic group. Aside from MIS/Analytics Club, Daniela is also an active member of Chatham Marketing Association (CMA), Chatham Scholars, and was on the championship team for the Project Management Institute Intercollegiate Quiz Bowl held at Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus.
Inside the curriculum, Daniela maintains a close relationship with Dr. Rachel Chung, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Data Science & MIS, who is both professor and advisor to Daniela. “Thanks to her constant mentorship and support, I have been able to receive numerous opportunities that I would not have otherwise known about,” Daniela admits. “Dr. Chung knows the bountiful amount of opportunities that lie beyond Chatham, and does her best to connect students to them while they are still here. Whether it be in-class or in an email blast, Dr. Chung will do her best to align you with jobs, internships, contests, scholarships, and events that will broaden your knowledge and career prospects.”
In fact, through one of Dr. Chung’s email alerts Daniela was directed to the Grow with Google Challenge Scholarship. She applied, and was one of 10,000 across the United States to be accepted. This started a three-month long course in Android app development. Shortly after this challenge period ended, Google picked one-tenth of the entrants to advance into the next round, a six-month course on advanced concepts and coding in Android. Daniela was again selected and will receive a Nanodegree Certification from Google once she completes the program in October. Just imagine gaining experience and connections in your field and helping to pay for your degree—all before graduating!
The saying goes, “Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life,” and Daniela is well on her way to that. On-campus, Daniela works as an office assistant in the School of Arts, Science, and Business. While not directly related to her concentrations, Daniela finds comfort in improving her interpersonal communication skills through interacting with a diverse group, ranging from peers to department heads and deans. As the 2018 Spring term wound down, Daniela was winding up for a summer internship working with the IT Infrastructure Department at Wabtec. For Daniela this is a near-perfect match, i.e., working with IT at a global leader in the transportation industry.
“As part of the IT Infrastructure team [at Wabtec], I have been a part of numerous projects of a global scale. . . This whole experience has been very eye-opening for me and has taught me lots of technical knowledge about such things as different systems administration tools like Service-Now and OneView.”
Practical experience is only half of the puzzle, the other being theoretical experience. Now equipped with both, Daniela states that the information learned in the classroom was imperative to her success in both aforementioned positions. Daniela easily tackled tasks in her first week of interning thanks to BUS171 Information Systems and Operations. This course, taught by Dr. Rachel Chung, had Daniela ready to execute searches and impart filters on data sets in Microsoft Excel, and even further segregate the data using queries in Microsoft Access.
Progress does not seem to be slowing for Daniela. She went to Houston, Texas in September for the prestigious Grace Hopper Celebration for women in technology. This experience was made possible through the Anita Borg Foundation, who selected Daniela as a scholarship recipient. Daniela just started an internship at Upfront Analytics doing quality assurance testing and she has another internship lined up for summer 2019 at Blackrock, a financial investment company.
The Business & Entrepreneurship Department wishes the utmost luck to Daniela as she follows her passions and continues to make the Chatham community proud!