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Student Spotlight
Ammar Almaatouq, fourth-year management information systems student

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Michelle Cometa

The SITO team members last spring semester from left were Michael Nguyen, Ammar Almaatouq, Jared Schutt, Richard Kapadia and Wayne Starr.

Ammar Almaatouq is a fourth-year management information systems student from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In addition to his schoolwork, Almaatouq works as a business analyst for RIT’s Student Information Technology Office, a student-run extension of the Information Technology Office created in 2013 to build digital solutions for RIT students. Almaatouq is also an active member of the Saudi Students Association.

Question: Why did you come to RIT?
Answer: RIT has a great management information systems program — it’s currently ranked No. 14 in the country by Bloomberg. I was also interested in studying abroad.

Q: What do you find most interesting about your major?
A: Management information systems is a really unique blend of business and technical disciplines. So instead of having to earn an undergraduate degree in engineering and then an MBA or something like that, I can learn everything I need to know all at once.

Q: What is SITO?
A: We’re a student-run extension of the IT office focused on creating technology that benefits other students. We’ve made several important projects for RIT students over the past two years, the biggest of which is Tiger Center, a user-friendly alternative to the Student Information System. Although Tiger Center doesn’t have all the functionality of SIS yet, you can search for classes, fill your shopping cart, enroll in and drop classes, create a class calendar and much more. You can see our other projects on our website.

Q: Do you have any upcoming projects?
A: Tiger Center is our primary focus right now and we’re working on an update that will allow students to perform complex GPA calculations. This feature will show you your GPA and calculate what grades you need to get in order to earn a specified GPA. We’re hoping to roll out the component sometime in September.

Q: How did you join SITO?
A: I started in the spring of 2014 as a co-op, right around when SITO was created. I loved it and they liked me so they kept me as a part-time worker. We started with four people and now we have a team of eight. For students interested in a co-op with SITO, we are always available at the Career Fair and we post our open positions on JobZone and our website.

Q: How can students suggest projects or report issues?
A: In addition to our website and email, SITO maintains a Facebook page and a Twitter page. We are always open to new ideas.

Q: What are your plans following graduation?
A: I’d like to go to graduate school eventually, but right now I want to get some experience so I can figure out what I want to learn more about. I’ve interviewed with a couple of places and I have a job offer with a local Rochester company, but I’m still exploring all my options. I’d like to work in the U.S. to learn the American way of doing things.

Q: What are you most excited about as you transition from college life?
A: I’m a little nervous about transitioning from being a student to an employee and facing the real world. There’s a lot of uncertainty after graduation, but that can be exciting, too. I can’t wait to start earning money, making important decisions and making a difference in the world.

Derrick Hunt compiles “Student Spotlights” for University News. Contact him at with suggestions.