Included in this newsletter are alumni profiles, links of interest, and words of wisdom from the staff at Commerce Career Services; each month, we’ll have important information for MS in MIT students. Please let us know if there is a topic you would like us to cover!
1. Alumni Profile
Jason Williamson (MS in MIT ’12) – Client Advisor, Oracle. (Raleigh/NYC/Boston). Embedded in C-Suite of two clients, performing Management Consulting.
1) What were your expectations of the MS MIT degree as you were going into the program?
I expected to get an integrated approach to strategic IT management. I was looking for a program that would prepare me to operate within the leadership circles of a firm where the intelligent application of technology could be strategic advantage. I can tell you that what I am learning module to module has been extremely relevant for me and my clients. I also expected that the work would be challenging. You can certainly immerse yourself as deep as you want. A lot depends on what you know coming in and what you want to improve upon. Finally, I expected to
broaden my knowledge and exposure to other industries through the interactions with my cohort. An unexpected bonus was that I have found that we learn as much outside the class from each other as we do from the class setting and module projects. The beautiful part of that is that it will continue many years beyond the program as we form lifelong friendships.
2) Are you expecting to make a career change during or soon after finishing the program? That elements of the program are helpful in making this change?
Having done a few startups in my career and now being in a position to assist my clients in new business ventures and major initiatives I am in that great space where I am content in the present with a watchful eye on the future. Both the U.Va. experience and brand have already returned dividends within my current role, both for me personally and for my clients. For those of us within the program that are looking at a career change, our network of classmates, alumni and faculty continue to be huge assets for testing the waters, seeing was is out there and even brokering new opportunities.
3) What advice/words of wisdom do you have for current or future MS MIT students who are considering either a job change or career change now that they are working towards the MS MIT degree?
Be patient. Just like a running back, you need to let the play develop before you make a move and don't be afraid to take a risk. Learn how your new and growing body of knowledge and U.Va. family can help you find that right next step. The IT career field is very open right now and hiring. Don't forget that there is room for entrepreneurial efforts as well. Pragmatically speaking, wait until graduation if you can because the rigors of the program will make a new job that much more challenging.
2. Articles of Note
How To Stand Out
Different Outlook on Networking
3. Career Advice 2.0 – Words of Wisdom
From Aaron Gilley, Assistant Director of Career Development
At this point in your academic and professional lives, networking is a concept that may be oversold and underdeveloped. While the business of connecting with like-minded individuals and future employers is always important, the opportunities may seem limited. That’s why local and regional networking are so important! From local groups like Rotary, Kiwanis, and Junior League to professional organizations like Virginia Society of Professional Engineers and National Center for Women & Information Technology, there are ways to network without having to schmooze it up with the same VPs and former classmates that can make networking more of a chore than an opportunity. Memberships in these organizations can give you valuable professional information, introduce you to individuals who can assist you in your career development, and bring you a way to speak about the things you enjoy most about your profession. While time consuming for members, professional organizations are a fantastic avenue for networking and growth.
4. We’re Here to Help
Commerce Career Services is always available to assist you with your career development needs. Whether you’re actively seeking new employment or simply learning how to network within your
current company and/or industry, we have tools to assist you in the career development process! We’re available for in-phone, video, or in-person appointments. We can also answer your questions through email if you’d prefer. Please don’t hesitate to contact Kelly Eddins (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Aaron Gilley (email@example.com) with any questions you might have. Good luck!