Barb Nelson IT Consultant
BackOffice Associates
B.S. in MIS with a minor in Computer Science, 2001 B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Managment & Organizational Behavior, 2001

Barbara obtained two bachelors degrees from UM-St. Louis in Spring 2001. She has a B.S.B.A. with an emphasis in Management and Organizational Behavior and a B.S. in MIS with a minor in Computer Science. She is currently on the board of the MIS Mentor Program on the UM campus and is an alum of the Inroads Program. Her experience is primarily in software testing and design with SAP (a large ERP). At the end of last year, she began working as an IT consultant in the Data Conversion arena for SAP implementations for a small consulting company (BackOffice Associates). In addition, she recently started her own business in Real Estate investing (Supreme Real Estate Investments).

We sat down with Barb and asked her some questions.
  • Why did you decide to come to UMSL?
    It was close to home and affordable.
  • Why did you pursue a career in information systems?
    I was always interested in working with computers and there was always a new challenge.
  • What college classes did you find most useful to your career?
    Systems Analysis, Systems Design, and Database Design, along with working with teams.
  • If you were in college today, what courses would you take?
    Java and/or C++ programming classes, along with Systems Analysis and Systems Design.
  • How did you continue your education after your first degree?
    I obtained two undergraduate degrees at once. Otherwise, all additional IT training has been on the job (including CBTs) primarily. Occasionally, I would purchase books for reference and/or review.
  • How did you find your first job?
    My first job out of college was found through the MIS Mentoring program. I won a scholarship from Accenture and was later offered a job through them as well.
  • In what non-academic activities did you participate in college that you would recommend to others (and why)?
    The University Program board, Student Support Services (which is now called Multicultural Relations), and the MIS Mentoring Program on the UM-St. Louis campus. In addition, I participated with Inroads. These additional activities helped to provide real-world experiences through working with teams, networking, resume preparation, working as an intern, along with providing academic guidance and support.
  • How would you change your career if you had it to do all over again?
    I would have only gotten one undergraduate degree and then my masters degree (i.e. an undergrate degree in MIS and a MBA).
  • What advice would you give to someone just starting in the field?
    Take advantage of the many opportunities that UMSL and other organizations have to offer. Research and find those opportunites. Learn to network through organizations on campus to gain experience and/or insight into your career field of choice.
  • Look into your crystal ball. What do you see changing in the IS field in the future?
    I do believe there will continue to be a high demand for those with technical knowledge to be able to work with those who are less technical. Thus, learn how to communicate with people on all levels in an open and friendly atmosphere.

If you would like to ask Barb a question, you can email her at bnelson at SupremeREI.com.