Cal Poly Partners with Workday for Tours and Senior Projects

Cal Poly students at WorkdayOn January 20th, 2017, 25 students from the Information Systems Association (ISA) along with Professor Barry Floyd, IS Concentration Coordinator, visited Workday headquarters in Pleasanton, CA.

The all-day event kicked off with a light breakfast and a presentation by Mindy Hicks, University Talent Acquisition Partner, who discussed the history of Workday and how it earned its presence in industry. Sol Bechtold, VP of Integration Services, then spoke about Workday’s culture and life in the world of technology. Pedro Chiang, Director of Integration Services, filled in details about the various types of Workday consultants, the process of a Workday implementation project, and the importance of teamwork.

Presentations for Workday staff to Cal Poly studentsThe day continued with a lunch where Cal Poly alumni who are currently employed by Workday joined the students creating a wonderful forum for students to learn what the keys to success are at Workday and life as a Workday Consultant. Attending the lunch were Emi Morales, Jenny Phu, Lauren Parris, Marek Zhang, Matt Dobbs, Stephanie Poleman, all Cal Poly alums. The afternoon was filled with tours of the Workday campus, a presentation by Kate Dey who discussed the importance of soft skills in the tech industry, and then moved into a presentation by Tom Quach, Senior Manager, Integration Services Programs, on Enterprise Integration Technologies.

Tom and his team at Workday are sponsoring a senior project opportunity for 12 Cal Poly IS students to learn via hands-on how to connect third party applications to the Workday platform via enterprise integration. Students participating in the senior project include some who have accepted full-time jobs with Workday upon graduation in June, some who have accepted summer internships, and some who are simply interested in these technologies. The senior project runs from January to May with guidance and support from Tom and his team.

Thanks to Tom for initiating both the tour and the senior project and to Mindy Hicks in organizing such a successful tour!

Cal Poly students tour WorkdaySome comments from student participants include:

“Workday did a magnificent job at hosting Cal Poly IS students. They told us about the ins and outs of their company, examples of how they serve their clients, their unique culture and what roles IS students fall into their company. I would definitely suggest future tours for all IS students, even if they have internships and jobs at other places.” — Joanna Amezcua, ISA President

“I loved touring the campus and learning about the Workday culture in a much more intimate, in-depth way than I could have gathered from reading about the company on so much more dynamic and insightful to be on the company grounds.”  — Matthew Cornelison, ISA Director of Professional Relations

Preparing for the Workforce Event Targets Diversity and Inclusion

Preparing for the Workforce 2016In January, Cal Poly’s Information Systems Association hosted Preparing for the Workforce 2016 — Making a Difference, a student-centered event that brought together successful female alumni working in the technology sector with students preparing for their careers to effect change in Cal Poly’s campus climate.

In the past, the Preparing for the Workforce (PFTW) event served to inform and excite the students about the future, but this year PFTW decided to take a different approach. This year’s event aimed to empower the students to take the knowledge they gained from the presentations and challenge them to use that to build a better Cal Poly and ultimately a better world. The students—who were all members Orfalea College of Business and College of Engineering clubs—encouraged to become active participants in the event, taking what they learned and applying it to their clubs as well as their interactions at Cal Poly and in the workplace.

Preparing for the Workforce 2016This event featured discussions lead by industry leaders, including Gina Roldan from Microsoft, Avital Arora from NetApp, Christine Songco Lau from Google, and Heather Bunyard from Amgen. All of the companies represented are all passionate about improving workplace inclusion and diversity. Each professional met with small groups of students, sharing personal stories regarding inclusion and the strategies that their specific company uses. Professor Barry Floyd, the faculty advisory for the event, spoke at the event as well.

After the students heard from each of the businesses, they attended a short session that discussed inclusion initiatives and resources that were offered at Cal Poly. From there, students were then charged to take all the information they had learned today and come up with their own plan for making a difference at Cal Poly.

Each of the different clubs was asked to create their own unique plan to create change on campus that would be submitted in mid-May for evaluation based on which plan had the greatest impact on the campus.

The change of pace for PFTW was met with tremendous success as students began to engage and think critically about the issues that are present on their campus and in their lives. The proposals created by each of the clubs have the potential to create change on campus and continue encourage discussions about inclusion in the future.

The event was coordinated by a team of Orfalea College of Business students — Jillian Zdepski, Shelby Sly and Shae Lamb — and sponsored by the Information Systems Association, Women in Business, and co-ed business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi.

‘Preparing for the Workforce Panel’ Tackles Gender Roles in Business

Cal Poly’s Information Systems Association (ISA) and Orfalea College of Business welcomed alumni, industry leaders, and more than 100 students for a panel discussion called “Preparing for the Workforce” on Monday, April 27. The event, moderated by Cal Poly Provost Kathleen Enz Finken, featured female business leaders including several alumnae who shared their own experiences as leaders in the technology sector. The panelists also answered specific questions about navigating team dynamics, finding a mentor and asking for a promotion related to this year’s theme, “Being Your Personal Advocate.”

Panelists included Gina Roldan (B.S., Business Administration, 1996) of Microsoft, Avital Arora of NetApp, Christine Songco Lau (B.S., Business Administration, 1999) of Google, Jo Anne Miller of Browndog Partners, and Marina de la Torre of MINDBODY.

Small-group discussion with each panelist also helped attendees to understand personal strengths, recognize different leadership roles in the workplace and classroom, and create a strong personal network.

This is the second year ISA has hosted “Preparing for the Workforce.” Its mission is to create an open dialog about gender in the workplace, to encourage everyone — not just women — to resolve issues and promote a cohesive, productive work environment. The event was founded thanks to Roldan’s passion for the subject, which inspired her to collaborate with Professor Barry Floyd to create the forum.

The event was organized through a senior project by Josephine Le and Nathan Miner of ISA, advised by Floyd. Miner was also involved in last year’s inaugural “Preparing for the Workforce” panel.

ISA is a professional club for all students interested in the information systems field. Through weekly meetings, recruiting events, professional speakers and social gatherings, ISA aims to guide information systems students in making professional decisions, building a professional network, and finding satisfying careers.