Info systems students benefit from relationship with top grad program

Longwood’s information systems and security (ISYS) students are benefiting from a relationship with one of the world’s best graduate programs in their field.

Four Longwood students—all of those who applied—have been accepted into Carnegie Mellon University’s graduate program in information systems, which was ranked No. 1 in 2013 and this year is ranked No. 2 by U.S. News & World Report. Three of the students participated last summer in a highly competitive, all-expenses-paid research internship in CMU’s ITLab program.

This summer, five Longwood students participated in the internship program, which  accepts only 20 students. Participation in the internship boosts a student’s chances of being accepted to the graduate program and guarantees at least a 50 percent scholarship for those who are accepted.

“We have essentially set up a pipeline to the No. 1 graduate program in the world in information systems,” said Dr. Randy Boyle, associate professor of information systems and security, who developed the Longwood-CMU relationship. “The internship is like an extended interview for grad school. Our students have solid technical skills before they go—they first have to take the networking and cyber security classes—and I tell them to dress professionally every day, treat it like a job and work two hours longer than anyone else.”

That advice is apparently paying off—Longwood students have made an impression at Carnegie Mellon.

“Longwood students are disciplined and diligent in their work,” said Dr. Sean Beggs, who directs the two major programs in CMU’s graduate-level School of Information Systems and Management. ”I noticed that last summer, as did the other faculty and other students.”

Beggs included Longwood as an internship partner because of a relationship with Boyle that began about five years ago when the latter, while on the University of Utah faculty, sent several students to CMU’s graduate program in information systems.

“This is built around relationships with trusted faculty members like Randy,” said Beggs, who visited Longwood in November 2013 to recruit students at a graduate fair.  I feel fortunate we have this relationship in place and hope it continues. It’s a great experience for both.”