Cameron Reicheneker: Choosing the Right Time

Cameron Reicheneker
Cameron Reicheneker, Recipient of the David and Jan Larson Management Information Systems Scholarship

When Cameron Reicheneker was in high school, he underwent chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer. The treatment affected his ability to focus and remember information short term. This side effect, which he calls “chemo brain,” made it impossible for him to succeed when he first enrolled in college at 18. “I just wasn’t able to fully focus on school at the time,” he says.

Instead, Cameron began taking contract IT jobs, working in a number of different companies. “In the IT world, a lot of work is outsourced and contract based because companies don’t want to pay benefits,” he explains. He worked in that world, going from contract to contract, waiting for the time when he felt ready of going back to school.

That day finally came in 2016, when he enrolled at UIS. “My life had become stable again,” he says, with the effects of chemotherapy wearing off and no major upheavals in his health for a couple of years.

He chose UIS, first because the cost is more reasonable than a lot of other four-year institutions in Illinois. This semester Cameron had nothing to pay thanks to the David and Jan Larson Management Information Systems Scholarship and other financial aid: “That was a big surprise!” he says.

He also chose UIS because the online program is so good. He especially likes the fact that at UIS most assignments are due on Sunday at midnight, meaning he can work fulltime at an internship with Caterpillar and have the weekends to work on his school.

Cameron is majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS). “I’ve always had a strong technical background,” he says, “but I wasn’t a programmer. Computer science majors go deeper into the code, while the MIS curriculum combines information technology and business. It gives you the skills you need to manage people as well as data and other systems.”

Cameron’s fulltime internship at Caterpillar, which he has had for over a year now, is in parts marketing. “I’m on the fence about either going into marketing or doing something more systems and data related,” Cameron says.

Donna Greer, MIS online coordinator, has been extremely helpful to Cameron.

When Cameron graduates, he will be the second Reicheneker to walk across the stage at Commencement—his father, Scott Reicheneker, graduated from UIS in 1992 when it was still Sangamon State with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He then went on to get his M.B.A. from our sister campus UIUC.

Cameron must have chosen just the right time to go back to school—and the right program—because he is due to graduate in May 2019 without having experienced any obstacles that derailed his progress. That’s great news for Cameron and for everyone involved in his education.