Student Spotlight: New MIS grad, Maria Grieco
With just a week left of her studies in management information systems (MIS) at West Virginia University, Maria Grieco reflected on her time at the College of Business and Economics warmly and with pride.
“I feel prepared, but I’m also sad to leave because of how many people I’ve become close with, who I definitely want to keep in touch with,” Grieco said. “I feel like I’ll be e-mailing my professors all the time, to catch up and keep them in the know of everything I’m doing. How do you say goodbye to the people that have taught you so much?”
Grieco, originally an exercise physiology student as a freshman, always had an aptitude for technology, citing her childhood and how much she messed around with different programs on the computer while growing up in small-town Weirton, West Virginia.
“I realized in the middle of my sophomore year that medical studies weren’t for me, that I wanted to go into something to do with computers – but on a more personal level of communication that a job in computer science could offer me,” she said. “I spoke with Dr. Graham Peace, who came to the conclusion that I would be a good fit for MIS, based on of our meeting. I made the decision to switch to MIS, and fell in love with the major. I am so happy about that decision.”
Right off the bat, she decided to get involved on campus to immerse herself more in the business community. Grieco was active in Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity on campus, as well as the MIS Association (MISA).
“One thing I love about B&E is how many things are going on each week; there’s always some kind of speaking event or seminar to get students a little more active in the business community,” she said. “I feel as though the different activities at the College not only help us with our studies and career development, but help us grow as people.”
Grieco said that since the MIS program within the college is so small, it gives students and professors a lot more room to get to know each other individually and become close as friends and colleagues.
“The professors were so willing to take the time, both in and out of the classroom, to help us by answering all of our questions and making us understand things if we couldn’t get it the first time around,” she said. “I’m so adamant about bragging on MIS professors, but they have just done wonderful things for myself and my classmates.
“I had Dr. Nanda Surendra for the past two semesters for core classes, and he’s one of the greatest professors the world has to offer. Honestly, he wants you to learn, and he doesn’t believe that grades are more important than actually learning the subject matter, and learning it well. He’s also fantastic about making students learn that, especially students with a touch of ‘senioritis’ that are looking for an A to pass the class. His process of teaching, and helping us to learn the really important things, have been life-changing for me.”
Last summer, she completed an internship in Pittsburgh at 5th Method, a tech consulting company, which helped her realize what path she wanted to take with her career.
“I realized that what I learned at my internship last summer is a great fit for me and exactly what I should be doing for my career, so I took that path and applied for a job with Deloitte.”
Deloitte Consulting was on the WVU campus during the 2014 fall semester as part of an event sponsored by the Center for Career Development, in which Grieco scheduled an interview. She was notified of her full-time offer with the company in early November, and will begin her job as a federal business technology analyst in Washington, D.C., in September 2015.
Grieco has plans to return to WVU in the fall to help Deloitte recruit more students from the College.
“I think it would be beneficial for students to hear from someone who has the beginner’s experience, like I will have at that point in time,” she said. “It’s nice for the seniors to know that I was recently in their position, and that they can get there, too, if they would like. I want to keep that knit between Deloitte and B&E because MIS students from WVU really have so much to offer, with how excellent the curriculum is and how helpful the professors are.”
Grieco’s advice for new MIS students is not to panic, and to soak in every word from the faculty.
“The program is challenging, but it’s more worth it than you’ll ever know – that is, until you’re where I am now, graduating and getting to reflect on my time,” she said. “MIS was the best choice I’ve ever made in my life, and I’m glad I wasn’t afraid to ask for help from the faculty because every single one of them have been mentors to me – not only in my career, but also my personal life. I couldn’t have asked for a better four years.”