Salvador Cazarez

It figures versatility would be an appealing trait to Salvador Cazarez, whose own talents range from computer programming to playing the electric guitar.

Cazarez, a business information systems major in his third year at Oregon State, started his academic career at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. His plan was to study computer engineering in a small town about 30 miles northwest of the even smaller town (Malin, population 800) he grew up in.

“I found my passion for technology as a kid when I realized I was good at fixing computer problems for my friends and family,” Cazarez said.

But realizing he had a passion for business as well, Cazarez transferred to Oregon State after his freshman year to pursue a major in business information systems.

“I liked the idea that the Business Information Systems program was more versatile,” Cazarez said. “I’m not saying computer engineering wasn’t versatile, but with business information systems, it’s more of a business application, app development, working with networks, a mixed bag. I knew business information systems was my calling for a career.”

And he knows the College of Business is the place to set that career in motion. That became apparent early in his time in Corvallis.

“I was taking Business Application Development, BA 272, where you do programming in C#,” Cazarez said. “I’d had experience with the program before, so it wasn’t brand new to me, but working with Dr. (Byron) Marshall was a good experience. He was really supportive as far as introducing everyone to the programming. I really liked his teaching style; it was an indicator that I’d made the right choice coming here to Oregon State. The teachers have been nothing but nice, and the entire college staff has been great to me. I’m happy to be here.”

Cazarez in turn has thrived in the College of Business, earning a scholarship from the Portland chapter of the Society for Information Management and also entry into the prestigious MECOP internship program, in which he’ll do separate six-month stints with a pair of yet-to-be-determined companies.

“The MECOP internships will hopefully give me a better idea of what direction I’ll go for my career,” he said. “Business information systems is really broad. I’m thinking systems administration or database administration is where I’d like to end up, and MECOP might allow me to test that out first.”