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What Students can Learn from IT Professionals

How valuable would it be to allow your IT students to hear first-person testimonials from successful IT professionals?

Faithful blog readers know that the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) last year produced a video series entitled “A Day in the Life.”  Six IT technicians and executives were interviewed to share their perspectives on the IT workplace. The hope was that hearing directly from a successful IT worker (rather than a professor) may deliver a stronger, lasting impact on students with regard to the workplace reality of IT careers and skills, the value of soft skills, practical career advice, and showcasing aspirational workforce role models.

Six IT Professionals

Left to right, top to bottom: Cody Hooper, Cisco; Corey Kirkendoll, 5K Technical Services; Matt Glover, Le-Vel; Oliver Reiter, Palo Alto Networks; Brett McCormick, Big Nerd Ranch; and Leslie Hansen, VmWare

The CTC packed up cameras and microphones to make special trips to interview…

* Cody Hooper, a graduate from Collin College, works in a Technical Assistance Center (TAC) for Cisco Systems troubleshooting complex problems for customers

* Brett McCormick, a graduate from Collin College and the University of North Texas, works from home as an Android developer for Big Nerd Ranch

* Corey Kirkendoll  works as the CEO and Owner of 5K Technical Services, a full-service managed service provider for small and medium-sized businesses

* Oliver Reiter is a Systems Engineer at Palo Alto Networks, helping design and support cybersecurity solutions – in a pre-sales capacity – to support customer needs

* Matt Glover serves as CTO at Le-Vel, a global health and wellness company bridging “emerging technologies with existing technologies” to support the goals and capabilities of the company

* Leslie Hansen works as a Client Executive for VMware collaborating with educational institutions to provide cloud infrastructure and support VMware applications

You can find these six interviews in their entirety on our YouTube channel, but because of their length they might not prove to be easily used in the classroom.  So the CTC edited these clips down into four-minute segments to offer six different answers to the single question.

Today, we look at our IT professionals’ answer to the question What was your first job in IT?  Check back soon for another question!

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