dcsimg

Career Story: Systems Integration Project Manager At A Small Private University

Systems Integration Project Manager At A Small Private University

Job Title: Systems Integration Project Manager

Type of Company: I work for a small private University in the greater Boston area.

Education: University Twente (The Netherlands): Engineering Degree in Computer Science

Previous Experience: I started out as a COBOL Programmer in the Netherlands, doing consultant work for a big IT consulting company. There I got involved in implementations of an ERP-system called PeopleSoft that does Human Resource / Payroll and Financials functionality. This job brought me to the US 11 years ago. In the US I have worked as a consultant and directly for universities as programmer, project-manager, and manager.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for the support and further development of the Human Resource Management and Student Administration Systems. In order to do this, I manage a staff of five people (including myself).

The support part of my job means that when users have a problem somewhere in the system, they log a ticket in our help-desk system. I review these tickets and assign them to somebody on my team to get them resolved. If my team-members can not resolve the problem, I will help them in doing this. Examples of these issues are user can not log on, they get a system-error, or the data on their screen doesn't look right.

The software that we use for these systems is provided by a vendor. That means that the problem can be a bug caused by the vendor. Also, the vendor comes out with a new release of the software every 3-4 years. My team has to make sure we upgrade safely to the new version. This is a project that takes about a year to complete.

The further development part of my job means that users quite often want these systems to work better for them, or they want the system to do something new. Examples are new reports, a way for students to apply for graduation, etc. I review all these requests and determine how much work they will be. If we decide to take on the work, I assign it to somebody on my team.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the development part. It is great to design something new that will really help the users do their job in a better way. It also allows me to explore new features and new tools that come with these systems. The worst part of my job is the constant interruption of support. If there is a production issue, that requires immediate attention, I need to drop everything I'm doing and focus on that issue. And then it's hard to get back to what you were doing afterwards.

Job Tips: These systems are database-driven. So knowledge of data-structures and is essential. You need to have good analytical skills to quickly analyze problems and to design new features. To be a good programmer, you need to focus on logical structures so that your programs can be maintained on a on-going basis.

Last but not least, you need to be able to listen and keep an open mind. Users will call with problems or with requests that seem nonsensical. It's your job to make sense of them, not to dismiss them.

Additional Thoughts: Looking back at how I got where I am today, I think having started as a programmer has been the right place. If you can understand how the code and data works underneath the hood, it makes supporting and driving the direction of your system a lot easier.

And therefore, even though I do less programming than I used to (being more of a manager now) I think I am still successful because I still do programming. In order to stay on top of the technology that you're in charge of, it is essential that you keep your hands on it.

Popular Schools offering Information Systems Management Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads
Platt College
Anaheim, Ontario, Riverside

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Information Technology Associate's Degree
  • Degrees: Associate
ABCO Technology
Los Angeles

ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.

  • Programs: Security, Networking and Security, PMP, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate
Coleman University
San Diego

Advance your information technology career with a respected degree from Coleman University.

  • Programs: Master of Information Systems
  • Degrees: Master

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Project Management
  • Degrees: Master

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).

  • Programs: Instructional Technology Specialist Certification
  • Degrees: Certificate

Change the World with American University

Be a part of something bigger than yourself.

  • Programs: Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Degrees: Certificate

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Information Technology (BS) (Online)
  • Degrees: Bachelor
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Computer Systems Managers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Computer Systems Managers, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104