Hometown: Flint, Michigan

Mathematics Major: Mathematics (undergraduate), Computer Information Systems Management (graduate)

Degree Granting Institution(s): Spelman College, Ferris State University

Job Title: Information Specialist/Project Manager, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), Flint, MI

Job Responsibilities: I am the site implementation manager for General Motors (one of a variety of companies for which EDS manages information system technology). I deploy the MAXIMO 4.1.1 system, which helps Quality Network Planned Maintenance (QNPM) track and analyze anything from machine failures to lubrication records. A typical day for me as a site implementation manager includes facilitating customer meetings (sometimes on site), including kickoff meetings, regular steering committee meetings, and tollgate meetings. In those meetings, I lead project planning, scheduling, monitoring, and reporting activities within the MAXIMO program office environment for the site deployments. I also document meeting minutes and distribute them to affected parties. In my role as a manager, I work closely with the client's project/program office and assist in training the client and project team staff on procedures. I also monitor subcontractors as applicable. In project coordination, understanding contract details is crucial to determining whether the work is in scope. Consequently, I analyze and report operational budgets, staffing requirements, resources, issues, and project risks. I also ensure that operations meet legal requirements, customer approval, and quality standards. My job responsibilities also include reviewing requirements for deployment sites and creating, estimating, and communicating changes as needed. Keeping up with technology is a must, so I stay aware of emerging technologies and project management techniques. I created all System Development Processes documentation (SDP-21) for the deployment sites and supported SSP (Electronic Data Systems Project Management Methodology) processes for all EDS work.

Best Advice: The best advice I could give to students is to find a mentor where you work. There are two types of mentors, active and passive. An active mentor coaches you, whereas a passive mentor is someone you admire in the company whom you can emulate and learn from. Finally, it is essential to learn the company hierarchy, politics, and lingo.