SLIS alumnus Kristopher Kalb (MIS - May'11) is working as a business analyst with Finish Line. In a recent email interview, we asked him about his new career:
Main Job Duties
I am a part of the E-commerce group at Finish Line which manages day-to-day operations of our websites (www.finishline.com / m.finishline.com) and our Android / iPhone applications. My responsibilities include reporting and analyzing data about site visits and managing projects which enhance our internet and mobile technologies. My primary customers are the development teams, database administrators, e-marketing team and customer service. All of these areas fall under the e-commerce umbrella which is responsible for usability, functionality, content and promotions on the websites and applications. I use Endeca, Excel, Fireworks, Fore See, Maxymiser, Omniture, SQL, and Tealeaf to perform my job duties.
Finish Line is an amazing place to work. As an established brick and mortar company with an internet presence, the business provides lots of great opportunities and challenges that I would not have encountered working for an internet only retailer. Like most e-commerce divisions, the work is fast paced, always changing and very rewarding. To stay at the forefront of the retail sector, the company is constantly adding and enhancing technologies to better serve our customer base. My role as a business analyst offers me the opportunity to deliver these new technologies by managing projects which are implemented into company’s systems and work flows. It is very rewarding to solve problems and design solutions which provide business users with information that enhances a customer’s overall experience. I consider myself very fortunate to be working with exceptional people who are dedicated to providing premium products and services.
Tips for Students:
Don’t take the easy way out! Challenge yourself and your classmates in projects you complete for courses. Take what you have learned from the SLIS faculty and apply it in your classes and everyday life. By doing so, you will hone in on your passion and find the career path that is right for you. Another great way to learn is to get involved in SLIS organizations or find a part-time job/internship in which you can develop your skill set. Just getting your degree is not enough. Employers want to see that you have real world experiences as well. This greatly enhances your chances of landing the job you want and not just a job. Finally, take as my programming classes as you can. Although I don’t write or develop code in my position, I work with people who do and having this knowledge base is vital.
Something at SLIS that Helped:
The SLIS service learning initiative for class projects really helped to bring real-life experiences into the classroom. Getting to work with real clients with actual problems in my Information System Design, Database Design and System Analysis and Design courses were keys into providing opportunities to improve my leadership and project management skills. When interviewing for positions, every employer asked situational questions which I could respond to by discussing challenges in these projects and how they were resolved. The Information Science faculty is second to none. The guidance and knowledge that were passed along to me by Dr. Rosenbaum, Dr. Hara and Tim Bowman (just to name a few) truly set me apart from others when interviewing for jobs.
I would not trade in my experience as a student at SLIS for anything. I am always proud to tell everyone I am an alumnus of the program here at Finish Line.
Posted October 05, 2011