Where are you working and what do you do there?
I am working at IBM and located in Rochester, MN. I am currently a Project Manager managing large Business Transformation projects that impact IBM's World Wide Manufacturing and Supply Chain operations.
What is your typical work day like?
It consists of attending different meetings whether it is for a project I am working on or for other organizational improvement initiatives that I am involved in. When I am not in meetings I am working on the tasks I need to completed ensure successful delivery of the project I am managing such as monitoring cost, assigning work to resources and tracking plans to delivery.
What path did you take to your current career, were there other jobs along the way?
I started out as a Developer then grew into a Team Lead and eventually a Software Architect where I was defining the scope and designing a solution to meet the business needs. I then entered into an Architect role with a Test Focus where the goal was to improve our delivery quality and also help our clients in their test efforts.
How did your liberal arts education at UW-Eau Claire help prepare you for your career?
It provided me a well-rounded education to take on many different tasks and to not be afraid to venture into an unknown subject.
Is there something more you wish you would have done in college to prepare for your career?
I wish I would have taken more business classes to understand that side of the world. Do not get me wrong, I am definitely happy with how things turned out but I also think having more business classes would have helped prepare me for some of the "business" concepts in the job.
What advice do you have for UW-Eau Claire students to become successful in their own careers?
Take ownership of your education and the work you are assigned throughout your classes. When you get into your career there will be some initial hand-holding but after that it is YOU that is in charge of your career. There is not someone there spoon feeding you, so you need to be self-motivated, directed and accountable. That starts in college where you learn to be self-sufficient; by asking questions when you need to, leading when you can, getting your work done on time and working to outperform those around you. Your college career is what you make of it and the same thing can be said of your professional career -- you own your career and can make it whatever you want by having the right attitude and being driven by success.