April’s IEM Alumni Spotlight is Suman Silwal, IEM class of 2010.
Suman is a Systems Analyst at Blue Cross Blue Shield Alabama and the founder of a popular video blog on marathon running, mRuns.com. He is an experienced web application developer and since enrolling in IEM has taken on new roles leading development projects at BCBS.
The December featured IEM alumnus is Greg Knight, Information Systems Manager, Telecommunications for UAB Health System. Greg manages a team of engineers and technicians who support PBX and VoIP(Cisco) phone systems as well as several Nurse Call systems. The team is also responsible for mobile devices. Greg has worked with UAB Health System since 1996 and has held various positions with Health System Information Services. Prior to his current position, Greg served a Senior Network Engineer.
Our August featured IEM alumni is Michael Mayhew, Senior Systems Engineer with BBVA Compass. Michael’s responsibilities include; designing, building, implementing, and supporting all internet facing systems, including Internet Banking. Prior to joining BBVA Compass in 2008, Michael was an Analyst/Programmer at Dataperk.
Michael received a BS in Computer Information Systems from Herzing College. Michael entered the IEM program in the fall of 2008 and graduated in 2010. Recently I spoke with Michael about what motivated him to enter the IEM program. Here is what he had to say about his experience:
“I entered IEM because I was feeling a little complacent and wanted to shake things up. IEM appealed to me because it had a real-world feel. As I went through IEM, I was challenged to find my true passion and this was something that I struggled with for months. I struggled because I thought my true passion had to be something different than my day job. After months of soul searching, I realized that I am one of the few people who got it right the first time. I love what I do!
"After that, things started to click. IEM makes you start seeing opportunities where you used to see brick walls. I started using this to my advantage at work and in my personal life. Right after graduation, I was offered a promotion and a very challenging new role. IEM has also given me the confidence to take my new found ideas and solutions to upper management which has yielded great results. Not only do I have executive-level sponsors backing my initiatives, but I have exposure to executive management that I didn't have before."
"Aside from my day job, I started thinking about my technical skills and background and how I could use those to my advantage. My skills in Internet technologies and system administration led to me start ChainHost, a hosting company specializing in shared and VPS hosting. This was a challenge because I wanted to create a fully automated, hands-off, hosting platform. After months of research and integration, ChainHost is exactly that. Whether you're signing to host a website, e-mail or a virtual server, your order is processed, checked for fraud, authorized for payment and your services are provisioned in the appropriate system all automatically without any human intervention. This gives me time to focus on the more important aspects of the business such as advertising, networking and brand recognition. I just recently met my goal of turning a profit within three months of the launch date.”
Join Michael on LinkedIn.
July’s featured IEM alumna is Meridith Vinson, Senior Project Manager with Merge Healthcare. Meridith’s responsibilities include; supervising and developing new radiology and cardiology implementation projects, client upgrades, and 3rd party integrations. Prior to joining Merge Healthcare in 2005, Meridith was a Project Manager at Medmined, Inc.
Meridith received a BS in Business Administration - Management Information Systems from Auburn University. Meridith entered the IEM program in the fall of 2008 and graduated in 2010. While in the IEM program, she helped co-found the IEM Alumni Organization.
Meridith decided to enter the IEM program because she was looking for her next challenge in life. Originally she thought that an MBA program would be the way to go, but she just couldn't get excited about it. After attending one of the IEM informational sessions, her interest was piqued and she immediately enrolled.
Like many of her classmates, Meridith really enjoyed the introspective nature of the IEM program. She really took the time to question what she wanted out of life and her career. With exposure to entrepreneurship she has realized that there is more to life than "living in cubicle nation" and that one day starting a business might be in her future. In her own words, "My undergrad degree prepared me for the corporate world. The IEM Masters program prepared me for a career path that I can mold according to what I want and love."
Finally Meridith shares the following advice for anyone considering the IEM program today: "My advice to anyone considering the program is to go to one of the informational sessions or talk to anyone who has been through the program. There were times when I wondered what I had gotten myself into and I hated missing out on social events because I had to study. But in the end I am so glad I stuck with it and finished. Just as in life, you get out what you put into the program. I made some really great friends, plumped up my resume, got involved in community networking groups that I never would have otherwise, and my eyes were opened to all sorts of new opportunities in the job market. The IEM program met and exceeded my expectations."