MIS Complements Business, Computer Passions for COB Senior

Noah Heffron discovered the field of Management Information Systems as a high schooler enrolled in the UCA/Acxiom IT Careers Camp and never looked back.

Heffron, a senior in the UCA College of BusinessDepartment of Management Information Systems, had always been interested in business and computers, so MIS seemed the perfect blend of those two passions. His connection to Acxiom has blossomed as well.

What began as an internship during his freshman year has developed into a near full-time role since. Heffron, of Rogers, said it has been fantastic to have worked at Acxiom throughout college and gained so much experience along the way.

“I was initially helping with the functional and regression testing for our solutions, but through my first summer there I quickly became test lead on a couple projects and releases,” said Heffron. “I’ve settled into a position where I am valued for my attention to detail and am trusted to lead releases and interact with clients.”

It’s the investigative aspect that Heffron enjoys the most about the MIS field.

“You’re finding how the different parts of the solution, whether hardware, database, frontend, networking or something else, interact and either work perfectly or provide chances for oddly interesting bugs,” he said. “Being able to use my MIS experience to take a technical concept and determine the business case that the client must have had in mind and seeing how that scenario would play out is intriguing.”

In the MIS Department, Heffron said he’s been introduced to the topics and materials he needs to be successful in his internship and career.

“It’s provided me numerous opportunities for realistic team scenarios, allowed me to practice cooperating with a group of individuals with a unique, yet connected specialties on different types of projects,” he said.

Heffron is the departments 2018 Outstanding MIS Major and received a scholarship this fall from Acxiom.

Jim Downey, Ph.D., chair of the MIS Department, first met Heffron while a high school senior at the IT Careers Camp and recognized an “amazingly bright” student.

“When he showed up on campus a year later, I had him in class and it was immediately apparent he was head and shoulders above everyone else in the class,” Downey said. “I’ve had him since then and he’s a wonderful student, obviously, with a 4.0 GPA.”

Even with his accomplishments so far, Downey said the most interesting thing is Heffron’s working near full-time for Acxiom the last couple of years while still enrolled in the college.

“It’s not unusual for students to have an internship, which is a short-term project; it’s not unusual for students to have a part-time job throughout their college careers,” he said. “But Noah has continued to work for Acxiom while maintaining his great GPA, being a leader in the class, and being an Honors College student.”

The growth and development of his IT skills, from work at Acxiom and in his coursework in the college, said Downey, will set him apart from other recent MIS graduates.

Upon graduation in December, Heffron will begin a full-time position with Acxiom as a software tester.

“I’ll be able to take on more leadership roles on our accounts, and with the experience and knowledge I’ve gained in the MIS department and in my internship with Acxiom, I feel exceptionally prepared,” said Heffron.