Sitting in an I101: Introduction to Informatics & Computing course her freshman year, Janelle Estes, first discovered the empowering knowledge and applicability of data. By the end of the course, Estes was excited by the possibility of taking additional informatics courses, and officially declared a major in business informatics and criminal justice her sophomore year.
Since graduating Indiana University in 2009, Estes now works as a business analyst at Weill Cornell Medical College. As a business analyst, Estes is responsible for understanding the workflow of medical researchers in order to develop systems that streamline processes and allow for the college to produce better research. Estes believes her education in informatics provided a basic understanding of numerous systems, which allows her to make a greater impact in a shorter period of time when starting a new role in the workplace.
“I learned quickly that it is was not necessary, nor prudent, to know one specific data management system, programming language, or resource-planning tool,” explained Estes. “Employers look for employees who learn quickly and have the ability to understand how their particular applications function.”
Prior to working at Weill Cornell Medical College, Estes was head of the New York division Team Online, a Denmark-based company that functions as a technical start-up firm in the United States and develops medical software. She was responsible for introducing Team Online’s system to New York City organizations.
As the technical field continues to grow, Estes advises students interested in informatics to get in contact with companies early in one’s education to become familiar with the evolving roles in the industry to narrow the job search. She stresses the importance of taking advantage of all the opportunities available at IU and developing strong relationships with professors and guidance counselors.
“Undoubtedly, the most valuable lessons I learned while attending IU were taking the initiative for my own future and using all of the resources available to me,” stated Estes. “Get involved in as many organizations as your schedule permits and immerse yourself in new and intimidating situations, as these are the ones that teach you the most.”
Estes recommends females heading into the field to stand as their own advocate and to look for managers and companies that value a diverse and respectful work environment.
“In the past, I have had my fair share of poor managers, but in these situations I have looked to emulate leaders that are making a difference and are well respected for their work within the organization,” explained Estes.
With many memorable experiences at IU, Estes expressed that she will never forget the rush of emotions she felt the first day she stepped onto the campus. Now Estes looks back on how lucky she was to gain an education that taught her the ability and confidence to solve problems.
“It’s incredible to look back now and think of how lucky I was to find such an amazingly, well-rounded institution,” said Estes. “I am very proud to be a graduate of IU!”