Margaret Shoptaw Sales Engineer
Dell

Margaret works in the field sales organization at Microsoft focused on Fortune 500 customers in the St. Louis area. As Application Platform Solution Specialist, her job is to sell and support Microsoft's application platform products including SQL Server, BizTalk, and Development Tools. Before joining Microsoft in 2003, Margaret served for 3 years as a Principal in IBM’s Global Services Division responsible for selling and delivering infrastructure consulting services to businesses in Missouri and southern Illinois. Prior to IBM, for 10 years Margaret operated her own consulting firm providing network and system administration services to small and medium sized businesses in the St. Louis area. Her first job, after graduating with a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in MIS and Finance from UM-St. Louis, was at MasterCard in several roles supporting their BankNet network used for the authorization and clearing of credit card transactions. Margaret earned a B.S. in Business Administration with emphases in MIS and Finance in 1986.

 

We sat down with Margaret and asked her some questions.
  • Why did you decide to come to UMSL?
           I liked the atmosphere and the maturity of the students. It felt like students at UM-St. Louis were serious about their education.
  • Why did you pursue a career in information systems?
           I've always loved it. Got my first computer in 10th grade (Apple II Plus) and fell in love with the possibilities.
  • What college classes did you find most useful to your career?
           Analysis & Design and the final class in the business curriculum where you do case studies. Any class that had team projects. I hated them but they were so helpful in preparing for the real world of business.
  • If you were in college today, what courses would you take?
           Engineering or computer science.
  • How did you continue your education after your first degree?
           Lots of hands on work. Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. Read, read, read. User Groups
  • How did you find your first job?
           Dumb luck... through a consulting company that I found in the Yellow Pages.
  • In what non-academic activities did you participate in college that you would recommend to others (and why)?
           I was a TA for Business Statistics. It was really fun to see the faculty side of life at UM-St. Louis and to develop better relationships with the faculty and many peers.
  • How would you change your career if you had it to do all over again?
           I wouldn't!
  • What advice would you give to someone just starting in the field?
           Learn to communicate in writing, speaking, and presentations. The most successful people are able to present themselves and their ideas confidently and clearly.
  • Look into your crystal ball. What do you see changing in the IS field in the future?
           That's just too big of a question for the little box I have to answer. Email me and we'll talk...
  • If you would like to ask Margaret a question, you can email her at shoptaw at diamondusa.com.