Outstanding chapter: ITM Club recognized for professional development
It’s 5 p.m. on a Wednesday and the Information Technology Management (ITM) Club’s general body meeting has just started. Attendance is low—only about 10 of the club’s 65 members are present.
And that’s just the way Abe Alslami likes it.
“Low numbers means that our members are actually out in the field gaining experience,” said Alslami, ITM Club president. “We expect our members to get internships; we expect them to leave. It’s a good thing. If we have 15 people at a time it’s because the other 50 are actually out doing IT work.”
Long-standing members in the organization have seen firsthand the benefits. Last semester, senior Joshua Hohner served as co-president until landing an internship with Marathon Petroleum Company. He used his leave as an opportunity to encourage other students to take on leadership roles. “We provide our members with lots of opportunities. We are able to strike a balance between professional development, community service, fundraising and social events,” he said.
A membership that’s active in both the organization and the industry could be one reason the chapter recently was named Outstanding Student Chapter for 2013-2014 by the Association of Information Systems (AIS). The award recognizes chapters that have made strides in professional development, membership and careers in information services. The previous year, the ITM Club was awarded AIS Student Chapter of the Year.
“We wanted to make sure everything we do is beneficial and advantageous for our members,” Alslami said. “It’s not just making the members look good, but it’s making the whole university look good. We’re not just representing the College of Business or the ITM Club, but we’re representing the university.”
Alslami said ITM Club is working to create more well-rounded, well-prepared students— developing their technical knowledge as well as their communication skills and professionalism. “That’s what makes the ITM Club different in terms of being a technical organization,” he said. “We focus on all the facets of a business person working within a technical field.”
But that isn’t the only thing that makes them different. ITM Club has been working to bridge the gender gap. The work seems to be paying off. There are now more women than men in the organization.
"It was one of my proudest moments as president," Alslami said. "There is an impressive gender gap between women and men in STEM fields, and seeing more women participate in these fields was really refreshing."