You might remember meeting Renel John (RJ) Andaya when he was on our recent alumni panel kickoff meeting in February 2014. RJ graduated in 2013 with a degree in Management Information Systems, which just goes to show you that all sorts of business majors benefit from joining ISACA SJSU. The great thing about RJ is that he often comes back to help ISACA SJSU and is always available with advice for students like you!
Where are you working now and what do you do there?
I currently work at Synactive, Inc. (Soon re-branding to Liquid UI, Inc.). We specialize in SAP customization and optimization. Since SAP isn’t industry specific out of the box, we help businesses tailor SAP for their specific needs.
Did you intern while you were in school? Where and what did you learn?
I did not intern, but I did have a job that allowed me to use my technical and IT knowledge. I worked at the Counselor Education and as an IT for a non-profit organization called GEAR UP.
Why did you first join ISACA SJSU?
I joined to get experience and to put something on my resume. My resume was pretty empty back when I joined and I wanted to put something that involves leadership to demonstrate that I have those skills. I also wanted to improve my web development knowledge so I ran for the webmaster position.
What office/s did you hold in ISACA SJSU and what did that entail?
I was the webmaster for 3 semesters when I completely changed the look and feel of the website. I wanted to make it look more modern and user friendly. My duties were website management and helping out with meeting operations. The current website used today was my implementation.
I was also the internal VP for 3 semesters. My duties included setting up for meetings, ordering food and refreshments, and planning social events.
Did you participate in the Research Competition and do you have advice for upcoming competitors?
I participated twice and got 2nd place twice. My main advice would be to utilize the knowledge of their coaches. We didn’t have those when I competed so we scrambled a lot on research. With the access to professionals, the students pretty much have the information right under their noses, so I would advise them to reach out. If students want more advice, you can refer them to my LinkedIn and I will happily answer their questions.
How have you benefited from ISACA SJSU?
I gained invaluable leadership and presentation skills that transferred to the current job that I have now.
Overall, do you have any advice for students who want to achieve what you have achieved, professionally?
My advice would be to make sure they keep their grades up and be involved. Don’t be scared to join a club because of the new environment that it introduces. Being in a leadership role in ISACA, I had to adapt and learn how to speak with confidence. The communication skills that one can gain from joining an organization is very beneficial for interviews and many other things.
Anything random you’d like to add?
Add me on LinkedIn and I’ll answer any questions. Career advice, resume advice, communication skills, skill development, anything. I’ll make myself accessible to give back to the SJSU community.