A quick Google and Facebook search is all it takes to learn a lot about a person or a firm. Branding was always important for large firms but now each individual and every firm is a ‘brand’ – and that brand or digital identity will directly impact your career and job search. Students are particularly vulnerable to ‘branding’ (both positive and negative) because you come to college with at least a ‘Facebook’ brand. The MIS Community site offers a number of new tools that you can use to take charge of your brand and participate in the overall community.
An e-portfolio, also known as an electronic resume, is a collection of documents about your individual skill sets and body of work. You can use an e-portfolio to actively control and manage your digital identity and reputation so that you can get the best job and internship. The e-portfolio is intended to be more formal than a Facebook page but more creative and open than a LinkedIn page. E-portfolios are a required assignment in MIS 2101 starting in fall 2011 and as part of that we are now ready to roll out version 2 of the e-portfolio concept:
- New custom design student e-portfolio themes with detailed instructions and templates and a list of common mistakes. Are you still using the old student theme from last year?
- New workshops and tutorials (stay tuned for announcements)
- A redesigned e-portfolio site through which students can easily submit e-portfolios’ for listing (for prospective employers)
- A new search engine for employers to locate students. The search engine uses profile fields to show status, interest, type of job, skills and other relevant criteria. To show up in this search engine, you must submit your e-portfolio for listing per the above. If you have already listed your e-portfolio see below on how you can update your status and profile.
Profile fields are a key element of social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn – this is how people find you, learn your status, and how the software automatically suggests new contacts. Profile fields can serve a career placement function when they are used with e-portfolios to quickly find people based on employment status, looking for a job or not, looking for full-time or part-time jobs, experience, type of job interest (e.g., developer vs. analyst), and skills and interests (e.g., auditing, cyber-security, social media, etc.). Profiles about each person are also relevant to us as members of the extended MIS community – the above information is what binds us together professionally and is different from what we would normally use to identify people at the Facebook (if we limit it to friends and family) and LinkedIn (if we limit it to established career networking) levels.
The FoxMIS community site profile fields are now fully enabled and set up. You can set your profile by logging in to the site, clicking on ‘My Account’ at the top of the screen and then selecting ‘Profile’ and ‘Edit Profile.’ On the resulting screen, click on ‘Professional Details’ to set your profile. There you will see two parts that you need to update—base and professional details. You can ignore all the fields that are not relevant to you. What is exciting is that once you have for example, selected a particular skill or interest, you can later click on that item and see all the people who are interested in that area. That moves us closer to being a real community!
Analytics provides the tools to evaluate the results of designing digital identities and a feedback loop back into search engine optimization (SEO) and reputation management. The MIS Community site is setup to use Google Analytics which will allow you to see the ‘hits’ you are generating on your e-portfolio and the demographics of where those hits are coming from. You will learn how to use Google Analytics in MIS 2101. If you have already taken MIS 2101, please contact one of your professors who can provide you with the information on how to setup Google Analytics.
Coming soon – Portfolio requirement and an achievement and point system
In a completely flat world, how do you gain recognition? What can we do to further support the best students? We are working on implementing a portfolio requirement (initially only for the MIS major) that is based on a point system modeled on the ‘achievement and status’ metaphor used by gaming sites and like everything else we do – it will be on the MIS community site, completely open, and flat.
A portfolio requirement means that the student completes a series of tasks and activities outside of regular class work as part of their graduation requirement. Potential portfolio requirements include both micro and macro level tasks such as:
- An internship, project-based internship, or service learning
- An e-portfolio including online resume and online projects
- Updated profile fields on the MIS community site
- Completing workshops offered by the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD)
- Posting comments across class sites
- Participation in activities of the Association for Information Systems (AIS)
- A final project that is eligible for awards and seed money funding
Students will be required to achieve point levels through online, off-line, departmental, AIS, and school wide activities before they can progress through the curriculum and the points will be maintained and highlighted online. We will be soliciting input from students (through AIS) to finalize the list above.