New Project Will Help Grads Get Ahead

Graduates of Texas A&M International University's College of Business Administration (COBA) Graduate School will soon be more competitive in the job market.

The College's pilot program will create a website on which to post graduates' resumes as well as an online placement database that will give students greater visibility and more job options.

The project, led by Dr. Stephen Lunce, professor of information systems, will also be a learning experience for A&M International's graduate students enrolled in the capstone course of the non-thesis Master of Science in Information Systems graduate program. These students will be designing and running the website and the online database.

"Students are learning the complexity of this type of product while benefiting from the results. They will be building the database and setting up the server. It really is a student-produced project," said Dr. Lunce.

Lunce explained that the website would be styled after monster.com, a popular job site, but would also include some changes to make it more recruiter-friendly.

The placement database will allow students to highlight job skills or specific talents they can offer an employer, Lunce said. Employers can search for key words, and receive a list of students that match their criteria. Each name will be hyperlinked to the student's resume.

Lunce explained that the website will grow over time, helping more University students with job searches.

"The initial step is to get the graduate students of the College of Business Administration on the web. Next, we'll generate business support and create a cadre of regular recruiters. The third step is to offer the site to alumni of COBA and then all A&M International business students and finally all students at the University. We need this phased plan because we need to know that the database is robust and supported. Eventually, the recruiter side will expand and the database needs to be able to manage not just one or two regular local businesses but even the Fortune 1000."

Lunce is confident that local, national and even international business will be interested in recruiting from the website.

"Once we got it up and running everyone's going to want to play," he said.

Being savvy in information technology like the website and database is imperative for both business and business graduates, Lunce said.

"In today's business environment, people coming out of graduate business programs have to be knowledgeable about and able to use information technology. Students are not marketable if they are not web and technology savvy. We have moved into an information age--there's a realization that businesses don't exist in isolation, they are intra-connected to economies and societies as well as interconnected. The web brings us even closer. You can refer to it as time compression. It makes transactions faster--faster to talk to mom, do business, check on the kids, get the news. We have a truly global village enabled by Internet and email. For a business to be viable it has to take advantage of this tool. If it does not, it will not survive," Lunce said.

The website is expected to be up in November, when the students will invite University representatives, including Dr. Ray Keck, president, Dr. Faridoun Farrokh, provost, and Dr. John Kohl, dean of COBA, to a demonstration of the project.

For more information about the site, or about COBA graduate programs, please contact Lunce at 326.2502, visit Office of Graduate Programs in the Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade, or email slunce@tamiu.edu. University office hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu