I was one of the judges for UC Berkeley School of Information’s 2008 Master’s final projects competition this afternoon, helping pick the best among the projects in the information systems implementation track. We saw several really interesting student projects. Most of the presenters held up under the heat and stress, and I enjoyed seeing the level of attention to detail that the best project teams brought to the table. Thankfully, the judging wasn’t all that difficult; Peter Merholz, Jeff Ubois, and I came to a decision pretty quickly. The winning project team will be informed during their commencement ceremony tomorrow.
Seeing the students getting ready to graduate was bittersweet. I took a leave of absence from the school’s masters program nine years ago. Getting into the program, then called the School of Information Management and Systems (SIMS), was all I wanted to do with my life. I was admitted as part of the second entering class, but eventually left school to try to launch a startup around a class project that was gaining traction online. Though it was clearly the right choice to make, I still feel like I gave up on something really important. I’m glad to be able to be a part of the school’s extended family, through links with past professors, fellow alumni, and current staff.