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. Career Path: Communications Focal - Dec. 2009 Enablement Manager - Dec. 2010 People Manager, Staffing and 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 how would you characterize the quality of that program to prospective students?

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.

If you were in Greek Life, the Honors Program or any other student organization, please tell us about that experience and how it impacted you.

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.

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 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!