Q: Tell us a little bit about your career, educational/professional background, and how you got to where you are today.
My career has been made up of many twists and turns between technical and business roles. However, all paths eventually led back to my affinity for IT and how computers, networks, and programs intertwine to provide solutions to the business. I started working full-time while in high school, assembling tax returns at an Accounting office and then jumped over to law, as a legal secretary. I skipped the whole college gig until I had done a few decades of practical work, making a move finally in 2007, when I was accepted into the Leadership-Executive MBA program at the Albers School of Business, at Seattle University. Twenty-three intense months later, graduating with my Exec Leadership Certificate and L-EMBA, I put my new education to work and began my first role as leader of an IT division in Tampa, FL.
My IT career has been cross-industry. I have served as IT professional in law, logistics, shipping, banking, program management, and now in the public sector, serving city government with an IT staff of over 700 professionals.
Q: What career advice would you give an up and comer in the IT industry today?
It’s not just about the technology – it’s your relationships. Sorry to all the geeks and coders/developers out there. If you chose this career and want to propel yourself to greatness, you will need the people skills to land it. And the skills do not have to be competing; they can be harmonious.
Q: What do you love most about working as an IT professional?
Solving problems for people. And showing off cool stuff.
Q: Do you think it takes a certain kind of personality to thrive in IT? What traits are most important?
Someone who thrives on ‘needing to know why’ and wanting the answer to every riddle – those individuals will enjoy the continuous challenge that IT presents. The answer is changing daily. In an IT career, the learning never stops.
Q: What’re some of your personal hobbies outside of work/IT?
It’s important to disconnect when you work in IT. I do that with family time, pets, travel, getting outside whenever possible, and road trips.
To learn more TBTLA, please visit www.tbtla.org.