Monica Prudencio Arredondo
Monica Prudencio Arredondo has lived on both coasts and in the middle: she grew up in Winnetka, Illinois, in a Spanish-speaking family from Bolivia, earned an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire, and worked for seven years in Los Angeles, where she managed projects at a communications agency. When her husband suggested they relocate to the Midwest in 2007, Prudencio Arredondo found work as a manager of translation services at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston. In 2009 she followed her boss to the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern’s Feinberg School Medicine, where Prudencio Arredondo serves as project manager of a Web-based program that collects and assesses patient-reported outcomes for more than 25 medical studies. Rather than translating Spanish to English, she now finds herself translating tech.
That led her to Northwestern’s Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program. “I had a business background and I was already working in tech,” says Prudencio Arredondo. “I wanted to learn how to manage a tech group and create opportunities for future work.” She says that her MSIS classes helped her immediately in her job: “In my networking class we learned about network connectivity, and in a work meeting the following week, that’s exactly what we discussed.” A database class with MSIS director Faisal Akkawi helped her communicate more effectively with the developers she manages at work.
In addition to technical classes, Prudencio Arredondo learned more about the business side of tech in a management class with Jeff Gott and a strategy class with Gunther Branham, executives from Abbott Labs who teach in the program. “Technology is a strategic partner to business,” says Prudencio Arredondo. “A business won’t grow without technology. Before the program I knew technology was important, but I wasn’t as aware as I am today of the vital role it plays in business strategy.“Anyone working in business needs to understand that tech has to be part of business and not just part of the background noise.”