Mentoring program leads to internship for soon-to-be graduate.

As Jesus Brito set his sights on fall graduation, his attention turned to job-hunting. Soon, however, it became evident he lacked one attribute that rates highly with employers—job experience.

“After being turned down time after time, I decided to change my strategy,” said Brito, a management information systems (MIS) major in the College of Business Administration.

As luck would have it, Brito was sitting in class one day when Debra VanderMeer, who teaches in the Decision Sciences and Information Systems (DSIS) department, came in to speak about the Florida International University (FIU) MIS Faculty Mentoring Program for MIS Majors. Brito thought a mentor could provide guidance on his employment search, so he signed up and was matched with Monica Chiarini Tremblay, who teaches business intelligence. When Brito told Tremblay of his growing interest in her area of expertise, she helped him secure an internship that would expose him to the field and, importantly, give him valuable work experience.

Brito helps boost the organization’s efficiency.

In December 2009, Brito began a six-month internship with Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe Inc., a non-profit organization that runs the county’s foster care system. As a member of the business intelligence/solutions department, he has used tools and knowledge from his business courses to aid the organization in improving its service tracking and performance measurement activities.

Jesus Brito

“Tremblay’s course in business intelligence taught me about online analytical processing (OLAP) tools, which I have used to generate reports on client intake activities, placements and living status,” Brito said. “Because of my knowledge, I’ve been the designated lead on several projects.”

He has helped Our Kids improve workflow and organizational efficiency through better design, management and use of its data systems. Also, he has worked to align the organization’s systems with the statewide foster care database, run by the Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN), and trained staff on how to extract data from the FSFN system for service planning and delivery.

The internship has left Brito feeling more confident about tackling the job market.

“I have learned many new techniques that will help my career in the future,” he said.

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