When UT Arlington alumna Christine Eliseev (’92) began to consider a way to “give back” to her alma mater, her business experience and acumen quickly created an efficient way to support a new generation of Mavericks and boost her own industry at the same time.
For a week in December, Eliseev, who earned a Russian Language and Soviet Area Studies degree, will introduce students to international certification as a business analyst. The former PricewaterhouseCoopers executive will teach an International Qualification Board for Business Analysts (IQBBA) certification course and help soon-to-graduate liberal arts students expand their career possibilities.
“Folks who have a liberal arts background are like sponges,” Eliseev said, “They love knowledge and can pick up new things. In my experience, those who came out of liberal arts program and started as a business analyst have had some impressive careers.”
Eliseev admits she wasn’t certain of her career more than two decades ago as she graduated and watched the fall of the Soviet Union. She discovered work as a business analyst – someone who often bridges “the gap between business need and a technological solution,” she said – and began a career path that has taken her to global destinations. Recently, she started her own firm, QMAT (Quality Management and Testing) Solutions, with 10 employees and will pursue a Masters Diploma in Strategy and Innovation at the Saïd Business School in University of Oxford (England) next year.
Eliseev said her biggest challenge is finding her clients the talent they need to succeed.
“There’s a deficit of business analysts in the industry,” she said. “Forecasts show this is an area that’s going to grow. It’s the same with software testing, too.”
With the help of College of Liberal Arts Associate Dean Elisabeth Cawthon, Eliseev has recruited at two information sessions this semester and has several students already signed up for the mid-December course. Registration ends Dec. 5; the course runs Dec. 15-19.
Cawthon said she’s excited that Eliseev, a former student, has not only used the reasoning, research and communication skills she developed as a liberal arts major to fashion an exciting career, but now she is passing along that knowledge to current UTA students.
“UTA is fortunate to have such a generous alum,” she said. “We think that many workplaces will be enhanced by our liberal arts graduates — people who will bring creativity, the ability to articulate, skill in multiple languages, organizational abilities and enthusiasm to their job projects.”
Eliseev is eager to engage UTA students in a week’s worth of foundational level training and prepare them for the exam. She said students who earn a basic certification will be able to demonstrate to employers the required foundation to become a business analyst.
“I hope the class will encourage students to seek certifications as a way to show future employers how they have critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills and can apply them to real-world needs,” she said. “At the very least, it will give them consideration to a career in this field, not just a job after college. This is a stepping stone into something bigger.”
(By James Dunning/COLA Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org)