Preston Pedersen is a senior majoring in Computer Information Systems with a double minor in web application development and economics. During his time in the College of Business, Pedersen has completed two exciting internships — one in the spring 2013 semester with Associated Electric Cooperative here in Springfield and one over the summer 2013 semester with Hallmark at its national headquarters in Kansas City.
Both internships have been great learning experiences for Pedersen. “Working at Hallmark, you come to understand that it is an emotion-based business and the atmosphere demonstrates this. All of the employees were approachable and welcoming. It doesn’t hurt that they like celebrations as well,” Pedersen says. Pedersen spent most of his time at Hallmark working in the internal Shared Services department where he was assigned a mentor with whom he still maintains contact. “Having a mentor was a great experience as they really help to make a personal connection between the intern and the company,” Pedersen states.
At the end of each internship, Pedersen was invited to continue working as an intern. He accepted both offers and is telecommuting with Hallmark each week and working in person with Associated Electric. “Preston is a stand-out and remarkable student. It is no surprise that companies would ask him to stay on board. He is a great representative of our department and our program,” comments Dr. Jerry Chin, Department Head of Computer Information Systems.
On campus, Pedersen is an active member and secretary for the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) student organization. During the last week of October, Pedersen and other members of the group traveled to an AITP Region 3 Conference in Oklahoma City where he and Dustin Banks, another AITP member, took first place in the Database Design Competition.
Pedersen says he plans to complete a master’s degree in Information Technology or Business Administration to keep his career options open. “Information technology is always changing and I want to be flexible with my career. One of the taglines for Missouri State is ‘Follow Your Passion. Find Your Place.’ I really feel like I have been able to do that in class and by extension in my internships. I have combined three things I love — technology, continuous learning and business— and am making that into a career,” Pedersen states.