The Houston AITP Chapter and the University of Houston College of Technology were proud hosts of the 2010 AITP Region 3 Student Conference which was held on the University of Houston campus on October 21st thru 23rd. The 2010 AITP Student Conference involved almost 500 participants, speakers, exhibitors and volunteers.
This year's conference had over 300 students from 24 different universities within a six state region - which was a 50% increase from last year's conference! Houston's AITP Chapter Liaison and Managing Partner of The Paradigm Group Recruiting firm, Gene Janiszewski, and UH's AITP Faculty Advisor and an Instructional Assistant Professor College of Technology, Bret Detillier served as Co-Chairs of this year's conference.
The Title Sponsor for the Conference was "USAA" (United Services Automobile Association) out of San Antonio, TX. "Microsoft - MTA" was also a major sponsor, along with the University of Houston College of Technology and the marketing firm of Hollinden Strategic Consulting. Other major sponsors included: Shell Trading which sponsored the Student Mixer, The Planet which sponsored the Gift tote bags, and many other sponsors and exhibitors who contributed to make this conference a success.
The overall objective of this year's conference was to ensure that students are well informed of the many opportunities available to them in IT, both now and in the future; and that they should be confident in choosing a career path in Information Technology. The four major areas that the conference addressed were:
EDUCATION: The three day conference was kicked off with a welcome address by UH's President and Chancellor Renu Khator. The keynote address featured a panel discussion led by Umesh Verma, CEO of Blue Lance and Chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership Technology Infrastructure committee (TIC). The panel discussed the Greater Houston Partnership's 5 Year Strategic Technology Plan. Panel members included:
Dr. William Fitzgibbon, Dean of the UH College of Technology
Paul Frison, Executive Vice Chairman of the Houston Technology Center
Amy Suhl, General Manager for Applications Support, Shell Trading
Jenifer Jarriel, VP of Information Technology/CIO for Baylor College of Medicine
Richard Lewis, CIO and Director, City of Houston
Students and faculty advisors had the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions which included valuable information on developing the soft skills needed to start and advance your career. Breakout included speakers from Microsoft, HP, Harris County Hospital District and several others companies.
On Saturday October 23rd, the following Executive Presentation Sessions were held:
"IT Infrastructure and Operations: Top 10 Trends to Watch", Ed Holub, Gartner Group
"Better Serving Our Members Through Innovation", Michael Bueche, USAA
"Serious Gaming", Richard Buday, Archimage
CONTEST: A major objective of the conference was giving the students eight different undergraduate academic competitions in which to test their knowledge of Information Systems. These contests were created and judged by outside corporations.
The committee added two new contests to the challenges this year: Security Assessment and Mobile Applications. Many of the participants in the Mobile Application will be interviewing with the contest sponsor, who was very impressed with their skills and knowledge. Prize money of $1000 was presented by each sponsoring company, $500 for 1st place, $300 for second place, and $200 for second place.
The Top schools were:
1st Best Overall School - Texas State
2nd Best Overall School - University of Houston
3rd Best Overall School - (#3 Way Tie)
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Tarleton State University
University of Louisiana- Lafayette
JOB AND INTERN OPPORTUNITIES: 26 companies attended the career fair. Many students sent resumes in advance of the conference and interviews were held at the conference in private interview rooms.
FUN: Students had plenty of opportunity to network with speakers, presenters, exhibitors, corporate executives, other students and faculty advisors as well as the Regional AITP officers in attendance.
The University of Houston AITP Student Chapter and ITT Tech Houston AITP Student Chapter hosted a welcome reception as well as a student mixer on Saturday evening on the UH Campus at the student center game room which included pool tables, ping pong, darts, many video game machines, bowling, food, beverages, and a live DJ. Great fun was had by all!
Microsoft sponsored the "Are You Certifiable?" booth which challenged student technology knowledge and provided a XBOX and ZENU game for the top prize winners.
See the Conference Website at: www.houstonaitp.org/conference to view valuable presentation material from the conference's prestigious lineup of speakers as well as our attendee's photo gallery. Also included is the list of contest team winners and Overall School winners.