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Mr. Joab Schultheis is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Atlas Van Lines, Inc. He is chair-elect of the Romain College's IT Alliance, an advisory group made up of senior information technology executives who advise the computer information systems and computer science faculty and students. He is an experienced IT leader who is passionate about partnering with others to implement strategic technology initiatives. 

Schultheis headshotSchultheis holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wabash College, and a master of public affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington, Indiana.

What is your connection to USI, and what makes USI and the Romain College of Business special to you?
I have talented people on my team who graduated from the Romain College of Business. The program is a valuable resource for organizations in this area.

From your prospective, what is unique about the Romain College of Business?
I like that the Romain College of Business includes the computer science and computer information systems programs. In our world of continuous technological change, careers in business and technology overlap more than ever.

Tell us about some of the highlights as you’ve advanced in your career path.
Many of the highlights I’ve experienced center around the people I’ve worked with. It’s very rewarding to implement a technological solution that powers a new product or service or improves a customer’s experience. I find it just as rewarding to work with talented people inside and outside of IT to accomplish those goals. Another highlight has been opportunities I’ve had to mentor and develop IT and non-IT staff.

How do most people enter the IT field, and what attributes make a person successful in the IT field?
The attributes I look for are a love of learning, problem-solving and reasoning skills, the ability to collaborate with others, and a willingness to take a leadership role when the situation requires it. I believe IT will remain accessible to people with these skills, whether their educational background is in STEM or the liberal arts.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were in college?
Professional growth continues throughout your career. You will develop new skills and be able to achieve more in the future than you can today. To get there, keep learning and stay open to new, challenging experiences.

What advice would you give a recent college graduate?
Find careers that you’re passionate about. Don’t be afraid to try something new. If it doesn’t work out, you’ve still gained valuable experience.

How would you finish this sentence: If I were back in college, I wish I would have taken more classes in________________.
Speech, which would have accelerated my public-speaking skills.

What are some challenges you see the IT field facing in the short-term and in the long-term?
Finding qualified people is a short-term and a long-term challenge. Another long-term challenge for IT and organizations in general will be adjusting to increased automation in the workplace. It’s redefining the work we do.

Who do you think are the most important/influential people in the IT industry today?
My choices are Satya Nadella and Jeff Bezos, for the array of cloud services they continue to make available on their respective platforms.

What factors do you consider most often when planning for the future?
Happiness is so important, whether you’re making personal or professional plans. I also consider the importance of remaining flexible and open to the inevitable changes the future holds.

What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about technology that empowers and enables, travel, and NBA basketball.

Who inspires you?
Bill and Melinda Gates inspire me because of their love of learning and ambitious philanthropic endeavors.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
I would pick France. I visited briefly years ago on a high school trip and want to return to spend more time.

Published August 3, 2018