Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SJSU/MIS alum here tomorrow w/Kaiser internship opps (urgent!)

Here's a great example of one of our recent grads giving back to the program by doing her best to bring opportunities to our current students:

Premdeep Kaur graduated last spring, landed a great job at Kaiser Permanente, and is heading back to campus for the job fair tomorrow, looking to get SJSU MIS students into a bunch of internships they're offering. This is exactly the kind of break you look for when you're trying to score a choice job–some connection with the recruiter that gives you an "in" and now you've got one.

And these are definitely choice opportunities - multiple internships with an excellent chance of converting to permanent jobs at the end, assuming you perform well and impress them (which you had better because she's making a case with her management that MIS students from SJSU are excellent to hire and when somebody gives you a break like that, you owe it to them to come through with the goods so it reflects well on them, too). They're looking for current students, recent grads and soon-to-be grads.

And in case you haven't heard, Kaiser is a much-admired, industry leader in IT. They provide all kinds of amazing information services to their patients, for example, giving them a strategic edge over competitors. See my previous blog posting from last fall about how I feel like switching my own health care to them just because of the amazing information services they provide.

In any case, it's definitely worth your time to see her at the Kaiser table in the job fair tomorrow (Thursday, Mar 6) to see if you can grab one of these sweet deals.

Monday, January 13, 2014

ur chance to create the next Bioshock: gaming hackathon @ SJSU

If you know me, you're not surprised to hear I'm completely out of it in terms of gaming. The only gaming-related thing I do is constantly nag at my addicted teenager to do something more constructive with his life. But there's no denying it's big business and when I glimpse what these things are like now, I'm fairly astonishing, having grown up with Pong & Space Invaders, etc. (Yeah...don't say it.)

Anyway, despite my reservations, I wanted to post this up because it looks like it might be a great opportunity to apply some tech skills, some business savvy and some creativity and maybe make a run at creating a salable startup product. Yeah--it's called the Global Game Jam and it's like a gaming hackathon being held at a bunch of college campuses, including SJSU, where you spend the weekend in a team trying to come up with something cool that will really launch. Apparently, one of the games from last year's jam ("Starwhal", from a Canadian university) is now confirmed to be released on PS4, Wii U and Steam this year. Ok, I gotta admit–that's impressive, gaming or not.

So think about signing up. They say "You do not need to be on a team to register (we will do some team forming on site)" and "Although having computer skills is helpful, code experience is not necessary. Designers, developers, artists and anyone is welcome to try their hand at making a game during the GGJ." Web skills, marketing skills, testing skills production management and many other things are necessary to successfully create a game.

It's good timing - the first weekend after classes start (Jan 24-26), so pretty much zero homework to get in the way. And, rather wasting the weekend playing Bioshock, or partying at the bars, etc. this would be investing in yourself and your future. It's the kind of resume item that catches the eyes of hiring managers and tells them that you're someone who is into the technology and the tech biz and has the intellectual curiosity and motivation that is often thought lacking in "Millennials." Plus it seems like it would just be fun. Just saying. 

Looks like you can sign up on the site and they say you can email this guy on campus: for more info.

if you MIGHT want to be a professor someday...

...then you ought to apply to this program that gets you a faculty sponsor to help you map out a personalized plan for getting a doctoral degree plus $3,000 to help you explore it, eg. travel to universities to learn about their doctoral programs, attend conferences, etc. It's called the Sally Casanova California Pre-Doctoral Scholarship Program. They say it's "designed to increase the pool of potential faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of California State University (CSU) students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages." There's no committment to actually pursue the degree--it's just providing help to explore it as an option so there's really no downside.

Applications are due on March 3. Check out the website which included the application forms & instructions and think about it. Maybe, in a few years, you'll be the one the front of the classroom with everyone begging you to postpone the midterm, make it "open-book", better yet "take-home", yada-yada-yada. Seriously, it's been a really rewarding career for me–it's allowed me to feel like I'm making a kind of noble contribution to the next generation and also to explore my own interests in research and contribute a bit there too.

I'd recommend it to anyone with an affinity for explaining things to others and for digging deeper into things you're curious about. Think about it.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

get some "intel" on jobs at Intel, this Wednesday

Companies have to invest some time, effort & cost to send their people to our campus to recruit, so you have to figure they're serious about it when they do. You're lucky to be able to just drop in, right on campus, to hear from them about their jobs and what they're looking for.

And when they're high profile companies where tons of people would love to work, you're extra lucky because it means they're really targeting SJSU students and you're getting a big advantage over some random individual who's just sending in an application cold.

Whether you think you're really interested in working there or not, it's always wise, I think, to stop in and get a sense of the company and it's culture when you get a chance. Sometimes you may be surprised. In any case, it's a good way to get to know the corporate landscape and gauge the market as well–both could come in handy.

So Intel, the largest chip maker in the world and obviously one of the heavy hitters of Silicon Valley, is sending recruiters here this Wednesday, November 20, in Engineering 285/287 from 12:30-2:00PM to discuss career, internship and part-time job opportunities for juniors, seniors, grad students, graduating seniors and recent alums in electrical engineering, computer science, computer science engineering, MIS and IT software engineering majors. Check out SpartaJobs for specific job listings. All SJSU students, registered alums and all majors are welcome to attend this free event. Probably a good idea to stop by if you can.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

some help with the trickiest part ($) of being hired at a new job

Just ran across this event announcement and thought it might be useful, especially if you're graduating soon and looking for the job that will launch your career. One of the trickiest things about it is how to negotiate for the best compensation package you can get. Students often ask me for advice on this and I give them what I can but these folks putting on the workshop are supposed to be the experts and would know much better than I. (I kinda wish I'd seen their stuff back before I was hired at SJSU, actually.)

Anyway, it's free and it comes with dinner and the time invested could wind up paying off for years to come if it helps you get a better deal up front. Seems like it's worth checking out. Here's the info below. (Note that you need to RSVP at the link included there.) Not sure when they'll do this again so even if you're not graduating soon, you might want to consider going while it's here.

The $tart $mart negotiation workshop will provide you with the knowledge and skills to successfully negotiate your professional salary and benefit package.

Date: Thursday, November 14th Time: 5:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free ( Dinner Included ) 
Where: San José State University
Engineering Building, Room 285 

Register: Please RSVP by Monday, Nov. 11th at

Thursday, October 17, 2013

free hands-on hack day, etc at SAP labs in PA next week

"The SAP TechEd MeetupThe intimate, “unplugged” format provides direct access to thought leaders, experts and peers. Hack-out real software solutions to real-life business challenges at Hack Day. SAP customers and partners, entrepreneurs, startups and university students are welcome." 

Another pretty cool opp to add on some valuable knowledge and skills outside the classroom and show potential employers that you're up on cutting edge stuff. (It totally impresses them to hear that you get out and go to stuff like this–oh, and of course it totally unimpresses them if you don't.)

This one is at the SAP Labs in Palo Alto on Monday and Tuesday of next week. The first day is a 'hack day' where you get 'hands-on', tinkering with SAP-based interfaces to smart car systems. (It's in conjunction with Ford's Silicon Valley Labs and their "connected car" initiatives.) Then, on Tuesday, you get to hear from really top industry execs like Scott McNealy from Wayin, former CEO of SUN. I've heard him speak myself and got to meet him and he's awesome.)

It's free and it's close and it's cool. Going out to this kind of thing is...well, like the mortgage guy on the radio says "It's the biggest no-brainer in the history of mankind." You're so lucky you live here and have access to this kind of stuff. MIS students in the rest of the country would be drooling. Don't be a "sap" J and miss the chance. Go to part of it, at least. But you do have to register--just go to the link at the top of this post. Go!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

MIS jobs report shows good outlook, nationally

This just out - the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) at the Fox School of Business, Temple University, partnering with the Association for Information Systems, has put out the first ever Information Systems (IS) Job Index Report and it's definitely worth a look. SJSU was one of the 48 universities that participated last spring with our graduating or recently graduated MIS students responding to a survey about their job search and their offers, etc. 

The 'Top 10' observations from the general report are listed here at the report Web page on their site and they look really good. Despite the challenging economy, MIS graduates are finding jobs with good starting salaries nationally. Eyeballing the raw data from SJSU (which is not in their report), it looks like our salaries are a bit higher, and our ethnic mix is more diverse, as expected, but we're roughly the same on most other dimensions. 

One striking difference I did notice though is that our students seem to report putting less effort into job searching with few taking advantage of the Career Center tutorials on resume enhancement, interviewing techniques and the job fair, and this surprises me. Those are valuable opportunities that can really help upgrade the kind of job you can get. It looks like your competitors for those good jobs are more into that stuff - don't let them get that advantage over you. The quality of your first job really sets the baseline for your whole career, so get the best one you possibly can and use every opportunity to do it. Anyway, check out the report when you get a chance.