November 10, 2017 at 12:30pm
Dane Lisser

Music Business/Information Systems major learns real-world consulting

Justin DeBo, a double major in music business and information systems, has found his niche in consulting, thanks to real-world experiences he's acquired as a member of Millikin University Performance Consulting (MUPC), a Millikin information technology (IT) student-run venture.

In addition to his work with MUPC, DeBo, a senior from Normal, Ill., is a member of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra (MDSO), Millikin Percussion Ensemble and is President of Student Senate.

"As President of Student Senate, I preside over Student Senate meetings, run elections for Student Senate, and meet with Millikin President Dr. Patrick White on a monthly basis to provide feedback on issues students are experiencing," DeBo said.

Millikin Information Systems courses offer Performance Learning projects that involve third-party stakeholders, normally companies in the community that have IT issues but don't have the budget or resources to have an IT team.

"Those companies will bring us projects and we work on them as a team throughout the semester," DeBo said. "MUPC came around as a way to transfer those projects and keep them going so we can see them to fulfillment."

DeBo says MUPC has expanded in a way that the business can bring in its own projects from the community and do work for areas at Millikin, including the IT Department and Center for International Education.

Justin DeBo

"It's a great way for students to do real-world consulting work while providing a much needed service to the community and people around Millikin."

DeBo discovered his interest for information systems as a sophomore after he took a database course under the direction of R.J. Podeschi, assistant professor of information systems at Millikin.

"I would really like to continue consulting after graduation," DeBo said. "Working for MUPC has given me the bug for consulting – you have more freedom to do what you want. Aside from that, I've been looking at pursuing computer science graduate school because I'm not sure if I'm done learning and I think graduate school can give me that extra edge to be a great consultant in the future."

DeBo notes that his time with Student Senate has opened his mind to what is going on globally.

"The biggest thing I've learned is opening my eyes to the rest of the world," DeBo said. "At Millikin, you experience so many other cultures and meet so many new people who have vastly different experiences and that's a big part of why I enjoy being in Student Senate, because I get to talk to those people and listen to their stories."

DeBo added, "One of the things I think Millikin does is push yourself to your limits and see where those limits are, and you're never going to learn as much about yourself until you push yourself to those limits."