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Explain your career path
I started my career with a move across the country to San Francisco in a communications
role with the international technology corporation, IBM.
Over the past nine years, I have held many different roles(as listed below), been promoted five times and am currently the Global Program Manager for all of IBM Global Technology Services. In this role, I am responsible for fostering an innovative culture across 100k+ technical professionals, creating and distributing content and strategic messages, driving significant revenue for the company and innovating new and ground-breaking technology for our clients.
Communications Focal - Dec. 2009
Enablement Manager - Dec. 2010
People Manager, Staffing & Recruiting for Dubuque Iowa Center - Nov. 2012
North America Transformation Manager - Apr. 2014
Global Innovation Program Manager - Oct. 2015
What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?
Working for a technology company, communication skills are just as critical as knowing how to code. If you can't communicate what you can do for others, you will not be very successful. With the skills I enhanced during throughout the Mass Communications program at SEMO, I have been successful because I am able to help our professionals tell their stories. From client presentations, video editing and production, internally and externally blogging, to executive communications, I am the "go-to" for help with effectively help our leadership team share big ideas in easy-to-understand ways.
Why did you choose to attend Southeast?
I chose Southeast because of their accredited Mass Communications program and was not disappointed! I also had an older sibling who attended with a great experience while playing football, and it was only an hour away from home if I ever wanted to visit with the parents over the weekend.
Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?
Dr. Susan Gonders is wonderful! She made me excited about entering my career and see that the possibilities of where I can use my skills are endless. She is truly an expert in the field and connects with her students.
Share your best college memory.
Not one memory comes to mind, but the overall college experience I had at Southeast was very memorable and enriched my life. From group projects, going through the classes with the same group of students that become family, adventures around Cape and the overall culture was fun, relaxing and a time I will never forget in my life.
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?
Keep your mind and heart open. I wanted to help people-- that was my career goal. Even if I didn't think that's exactly what I was going to do when I moved across the country to work at IBM, it's exactly what I end up doing in each job that I take. And the education I earned at Southeast helped prepare me to do just that.
Describe Southeast in three words.
Fun, Experts, Possibilities
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
Over the past two years, the global innovation program I created from scratch for
IBM Global Technology Services created over $250M in revenue, $2M in cost savings
and identified 24 patents.
Secondly, I am very proud to have given soft skill and client communications training to thousands of IBMers and at a local community college as we partnered to create an IT Certification program in Dubuque, Iowa.
How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?
It gave me the expertise and the confidence to reach further and higher than I ever have before.
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
Keep you mind open. Your first job may not be exactly what you want, but it may turn into something you never knew you wanted to do and that you are really good at!
What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?
Just enjoy my time as much as I can in college. And also know that everything is going to work out so try not to stress too much.
River Campus Seminary 306