Grad School Spotlight – Jorge Alberto Dominguez, Master’s in MIS

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Jorge Alberto Dominguez is currently completing the Eller’s Master’s in MIS program and he’s expected to graduate in 2020. 

Why did you decide to go to graduate school? As a first-generation college student, it was always important for me to continue on with my education. My parents consistently emphasized academics and hard work within our household. I could not have done it without the constant love, support, and encouragement from my family. Graduate school for me is the continuation of the mentality my parents instilled in my siblings and I. I love what I study, and obtaining my Master’s from a top-ranked program is one of the many goals on my list.

Secondly, because of my academic and leadership performance, I was admitted into the AZSecure Program at the University of Arizona. Admittance into this prestigious program granted me full-tuition coverage, a researcher role within cybersecurity, and the ability to work with some of the brightest individuals on campus. I received this offer in my last semester of undergrad, which was simply an offer too good to refuse.

What was the preparation and application process like? Due to my performance in undergrad, I was able to begin the MIS graduate program through the Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP). This is specific to the MIS major, but I recall having to state my intentions of applying to the AMP with my academic adviser. Next, I met with the graduate counselor and reviewed my profile. At a minimum, you must have a 3.5 GPA and have completed at least three of the core MIS courses (MIS 331, 307, 341, 301). Afterwards, you have to meet with an MIS faculty member and receive a verbal recommendation. It was important for me to have an MIS faculty member vouch for my work so that I could continue with the application process. Finally, I recall going through a relatively brief interview process, which culminated with a petition that allowed me to take Master’s level courses while in undergrad. I began taking Master’s level courses in my final semester of undergrad. This current semester of Fall 2018 is my first semester as a full-time graduate student.

What has been the most challenging part of your experience? The most rewarding? The most challenging aspect is devoting enough quality time to all my roles. I am a full-time graduate student, research assistant, Treasurer of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, and teaching assistant for MIS 304. Each role requires significant attention and when my workload becomes taxing, it can feel like triage to an extent. Ultimately, I want to succeed in all the roles I undertake so the biggest challenge is staying disciplined with regard to my work/life balance and time management skills.

The most rewarding part of my experience is the Master’s in MIS program. The support system that we have within the MIS program is terrific. From the career coaches, academic coordinators, and overall MIS faculty. Like I mentioned before, the work is challenging, but the support structure is there for you to succeed and launch your career.

What do you hope to do after you complete the program? I want to launch my career within the industries of either data analysis, cybersecurity, or IT consulting. I excitedly look forward to beginning my career within any combination of these fields. After obtaining enough industry knowledge, I want to create my own business and become an entrepreneur.

What advice do you have for students looking to pursue the same advanced degree? Do well in undergrad and find passion in what you’re studying. If diving deeper into MIS topics like data science and cybersecurity excites you, then I encourage you to apply to our Master’s in MIS program! The students are highly sought after for jobs and internships, but first, you have to envision yourself within graduate school. Is it a goal of yours? Would you like to learn from renowned professors and do research with them? How technical do you want your career to be? These are all important questions I had to ask myself before applying to graduate school. Finally, if you have any specific questions about graduate school or MIS, feel free to reach out to me!

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