Let us introduce you!
Marketers, IT support specialists, curriculum designers … just a few of the people who dive into each of our partners’ missions, goals and values in order to create custom student experience, technology and enrollment solutions. Every single person at Collegis is integral to our ability to deliver for our partners. We sat down with Mike Buchanon, associate director of learning applications, to learn more about who he is and how he supports our partners.
How would you describe your job to someone who is unfamiliar with the field?
I help people leverage technology to change their lives through online education!
Name three words that describe your role at Collegis.
How does your role help support our partners?
My role helps coordinate technical and non-technical stakeholders to give our partners something that’s greater than the sum of its parts. My team finds ways to do more with less through automation, and we create engaging learner experiences through customizations and enhancements to existing systems.
What skills do you need to succeed in your role?
More than anything, I’ve found you need curiosity, patience and perseverance.
What do you most enjoy about your role at Collegis?
I truly enjoy that we’re using technology to help people improve their lives through online education. At the end of a long day, I get to say, “The work I did today will help someone change their life for the better.”
What do you most enjoy about Collegis as a company?
Collegis is a great company! We have many opportunities to work with new technologies and solve interesting problems. The most enjoyable thing is getting to work with dedicated people who are smart and motivated to solve those problems with me.
How would you describe the Collegis culture?
In a word, energetic! We have lots of different perspectives to draw on here.
What drew you to work in the higher education field?
I fell in love with learning and never wanted to stop – that’s why I work in higher ed IT. There’s always something new, and I always feel like I’m making a difference.
What is one thing you’ve learned about higher ed since you started working at Collegis?
Only one thing? I guess if I have to pick one thing, I’d say the largest lesson is that just because all schools teach doesn’t mean all schools teach the same way. Each school partner presents new and different areas to grow.
Where did you go to college, and what degree(s) did you obtain?
I have a BS in Computer Science from Michigan State University. Go Green!
What do you value most from your own college experience?
Learning that there was so much more to learn!
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Probably a Ninja or a ThunderCat. But seriously, I’ve always wanted to work with technology. As a kid, I was enthralled with taking things apart to see what was inside. I didn’t always get them back together again, but it was always an adventure, and I always learned something.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in their career?
Everyone is new at some point in their career. The expert that makes things look easy now struggled when they started, too! Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from trying. Also, it’s okay to ask questions and to Google for answers. I guarantee that the senior people on your team don’t try to keep everything in their head!
What is one skill you’d love to add to your resume?
How would you spend an unexpected day of PTO?
If I couldn’t get to Disney World, then I’d likely read a book, play a video game, walk my dogs, watch a movie with my wife, go to the beach or some combination of the above. Stealing moments of happiness and joy are what it’s all about!