Highmark Employee Returns to Point Park for Information Technology Degree
Monday, April 29, 2013
Meet Janet Barone
Job Title: Decision Support Consultant 3
Pursuing: Post-Baccalaureate Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology
Expected graduation: December 2013
Degrees earned: M.B.A. with a concentration in international business and Bachelor of Science in business management, Point Park University; Associate in Science in Specialized Programming; Certificate in Accounting, Computer Systems Institute
Graduation years: 2006, 2004 and 1983
Hometown: Glassport, Pa,
Now living in: South Park, Pa.
Hobbies/Interests: Reading various genres of books, gardening, sewing, needlework, crafts of various types, cooking, traveling and having fun with family and friends
Why did you decide to return to Point Park for a degree in information technology?
Computers have always intrigued me. Also, with the many changes in the health insurance arena focusing on electronic interactivity among members, doctors and pharmacies, I chose to pursue a post baccalaureate degree in information technology to increase my skill set and enable me to advance in my career. I felt it would allow me to collaborate with both business and systems departments. Also, the curriculum and class times offered in Point Park's adult programs fit into my work and life-balancing act.
Did Point Park’s location in Downtown Pittsburgh play a role in your decision to attend?
Yes. Highmark's involvement with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and encouragement of continuing education through its tuition reimbursement program was a significant influence on me pursuing my education. Other key factors for choosing Point Park were the convenience of walking a few short blocks to classes, accessibility to the library, bookstore, professors and University activities and having the comfort of knowing that all Point Park buildings are staffed with security guards to ensure student safety in and around the buildings.
What are your key responsibilities in your current position at Highmark?
I was recently promoted from business analyst to a decision support consultant so my key responsibilities use the knowledge and skills received in both degree programs. My new position offers me the opportunity to develop and foster relationships with internal employees as well as professional organizations, user groups and industry trade groups and to stay current with technology and analysis methods. I am also responsible for providing technical direction (analytic and/or programming) of complex projects.
As a non-traditional student, how do you balance college, work and family life?
Balancing college, work and family life is a difficult task. However, if you really want something, you will find a way to reach your goal. I am very fortunate to have support and encouragement in the workplace, at home and from my University colleagues. The professors understand that adult students have multiple responsibilities and are very receptive to the students’ needs to ensure work and family life balance is achieved.
What's next for you?
Professionally, I plan on learning more about data analytics and looking into various certification programs. Personally, I plan to travel to get plenty of well-needed rest and relaxation by delving back into my many hobbies and interests as well as visiting family and friends.