Missouri S&T’s high-tech business program supports internships and an accelerated MBA path
Abby Sybert says she appreciates the relevance of the technology and the flexibility of the academics in Missouri S&T’s business program.
“My program is hard, but I feel like I’m actually learning instead of just showing up,” says Sybert, a junior double majoring in business and management systems and information science and technology.
This summer, she is putting her knowledge to work through a cybersecurity internship at Phelps Health in Rolla — a job she landed through Missouri S&T’s career fair. Her summer project is checking the compliance status of all 33 Phelps Health clinics with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS). She’s also creating an in-depth plan to define and coordinate the scope of credit card acceptance throughout the organization.
Sybert needed to understand the basics of cybersecurity to do the job and have the communication skills to interview every clinic computer operator that accepts credit card information. She says the interviews are helping her expand her customer service skills.
“So much of what I’ve learned at S&T, especially from the Data Networks and Information Security course, applies to my summer internship,” says Sybert. “It’s helping me see what working in cybersecurity would really be like.”
“We aim to provide the best business education to our students,” says Dr. Keng Siau, chair and professor of S&T’s business and information technology (BIT) department. “We are forward-looking, and we are at the bleeding edge of the latest developments in business. Student success is our top priority.”
Keng says the department recently introduced a new cybersecurity curriculum because it is one of the most in-demand areas in the business world. He says BIT also added fintech – financial technology – and artificial intelligence minors and certificates last year.
Sybert is one of nearly 400 students majoring in business and information system technology (IST) in S&T’s fully AACSB-accredited program. AACSB, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, is the world’s longest-serving global accrediting body for business programs, and less than 5% of the world’s business schools earn this recognition.
Sybert says she sees value in the size of S&T’s business and IST programs.
“The best thing about my program is that it’s the right size to be flexible,” says Sybert. “It’s easier for us to say, ‘let’s do fintech,’ because the field is blowing up, and we know the department is on top of it.
“We have access to a variety of classes, and the professors will often teach a class they know students are interested in — like air space drone law. I know employment opportunities would open up for me if drone law was part of my education,” Sybert says.
On top of the flexibility of the program, Sybert says she appreciates her caring professors, such as Dr. Yu-Hsien Chiu, associate teaching professor, who was especially supportive when Sybert had to manage a leg injury during her coursework.
Sybert keeps an open mind about her courses, evaluating them along the way to help her decide on a concentration while pursuing her dual major. She likes calculus, thinks derivatives are fun, and she’s always liked computers.
A Rolla native, Sybert holds the highest S&T merit scholarship, a Boeing scholarship and several other financial awards. She is also on track with S&T’s “MBA 4 + 1” program, which will allow her to begin graduate studies her senior year at the undergraduate tuition price. The schedule will result in substantial financial savings.