On March 21, nearly 80 students majoring in Business Information Systems (BIS) and Computer Science heard an expert group of panelists from Aetna, Inc. discuss "The Future of Information Technology Careers" in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library. The panel, organized and led by James Kidd '86, chief information officer of International Businesses, Aetna International, included Mark Coderre, head of information security architecture at Aetna; Jackie Czaplinski, Aetna's head of IT leadership development; Dawn R. Shane '07, Aetna's manager of information data governance; and Matthew Thibeault '11 and Katie Kirby, leadership development specialists at Aetna. Joseph Tolisano, Eastern's chief information officer, welcomed the guests.
"Having on-campus guests from a leading health insurance provider is important given the fact that our Healthcare Informatics minor was the first program in this field in Connecticut when launched two years ago," said Doncho Petkov, professor of business information systems.
"The panelists stressed the value of integrating a range of business, information systems, technical computer science skills and experiences into one's educational and experience portfolio. They discussed the importance of showing initiative and getting involved in meaningful volunteer, course and internship projects," said Alex Citurs, professor of business information systems. "The students learned that to be considered by a large information technology employer like Aetna, they need to demonstrate creativity, motivation and a desire to learn." Shane and Thibeault discussed how their careers evolved, allowing them to apply in practice their BIS skills. The event was a result of the cooperation between Aetna and Information Technology programs at Eastern, and was supported by the Office of Institutional Advancement.