Using the Tools Provided
Loving IU's SoIC:"You have the freedom to choose which direction you want your career to go."
Sometimes it isn’t about what you build. It’s about the tools in the box.
For instance, when Bethany Hufford graduated from Indiana University in 2011 with a degree in Informatics, she thought she might be headed into a career in information technology. She landed in the Health Management Practice division of Accenture, a consulting and technology firm, and she quickly used the lessons learned at the School of Informatics and Computing to make an impact.
“We only had about two weeks of training to get acclimated to Accenture’s systems implementation process then we went straight into a project,” Hufford says. “My first project, I was in a testing role where I worked with the development team out of India. It was only a four-week long role, but I got set up very quickly, and I had the confidence to quickly pick up the development languages and communicate effectively with the developers. It enabled me to get up to speed and deliver value on that project.”
Hufford has since moved out of a technical role with Accenture, but she continues to use the tools provided by her degree in her everyday life.
“A lot of the programming and technical classes, combined with the business classes I took, have set me up really well to serve a go-between role for our business and development teams,” Hufford says. “Managers have been really impressed by that because there are a lot of people on the business side who don’t have that background. I think the Informatics School really sets students up well for that.”
SoIC helped Hufford find her current career path. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do post-graduation, and she wasn’t even considering consulting until SoIC’s career services office directed her toward the position. Because of her comfort with working on a variety of projects, Hufford was identified as someone who might thrive as a consultant.
“I think that’s the advantage of the Informatics program over other types of programs,” Hufford says. “You do get the best of both worlds on both the technical and non-technical sides. You have that freedom to choose which direction you want your career to go. It allows you the freedom to go into a variety of areas.
The Rossville, Ind., native now lives in Chicago and advises current students to focus on building a network for not just their first job out of college, but beyond.
“That’s something that is said over and over both during and after college, but I didn’t understand the importance of it when I was a student,” Hufford says. “You never know how those contacts are going to help you years down the road.”