University of Washington Business School Presents
Watch On The Career Path, a new series from the producers of Information Technology Leaders!
Information Technology Leaders, an interview series airing on UWTV and the ResearchChannel, proves that top IT executives are the sum of their experiences, both professional and personal. In the revealing conversations with key managers at corporations such as Microsoft, Boeing, and AT&T Wireless Services, the focus is less on what they do in their current jobs than on how they got there, and what they learned along the way.
The guests backgrounds are diverse: from middle-class Pacific Northwest natives to a refugees son!? from India. As a group, they represent business, technology, communications, retail, and aerospace industries. Each guest describes a unique course to success, fueled by a varying mix of education, work experience, and luck. Mike Benson, CIO of AT&T Wireless, got interested in computers while working at McDonalds during college. Sally McKenzie parlayed her liberal arts education, retail experience and technical skills acquired on the fly into her position at Eddie Bauer Online. Throughout Wild Tangent founder Alex St. Johns dynamic career, it has never mattered that he doesnt have a college degree, or a traditional high school diploma.
The interviews demonstrate theres no predictable trajectory for technology careers. For these executives, personal characteristics, an exacting work ethic, high goals, and the ability to venture beyond comfort zones, often proved more critical than academic knowledge or tactical skills. And making the leap from hands-on, implementing jobs to leadership roles demanded a whole new skill set.
"This series started with a desire to expose students of Information Systems and Information Technology to Executives who have excelled in this field," says host Laura Schildkraut, Lecturer and IT Internship/Mentorship Manager at the University of Washington Business School. "The interviews demonstrate that success in this discipline comes in all shapes and sizes, and that, for better or worse, careers paths are no longer straight lines. They are rather a series of peaks and valleys with the occasional straight away that helps us treasure the successes and shake off the failures."
Schildkraut previously held management positions at Microsoft, Ogilvy & Mather, and Chemical Bank. She comes to each interview armed with extensive research, peer opinions, little-known facts, and in some cases, personal experience with the guest. Delving into their family backgrounds, what they were like in high school, and significant failures as well as accomplishments, Schildkraut teases out multidimensional portraits of the executives, sometimes with surprising results. Scott Griffin reached back to his firefighting experience during his college years to devise proactive rather than reactive systems for Boeing. Rick Devenuti, CIO of Microsoft, manages 3,000 people and knows the ins and outs of worldwide software manufacturing and sales. Yet he claims, "I'm the dumbest guy at the table."
Contact Make It Timeless Inc. to find out how your company can be featured in our television programs.