Ask An MBA: A Career in IT

ask an mba

I'm in college, pursuing a bachelors degree in Information Technology and currently working as an HR Generalist.  I'm a veteran of the United States Army National Guard, and I'm also in the ROTC program to become an officer in the US Army. My goal is to someday become an IT Director for a major company or start my own IT company. What advice could you give me that would ultimately get me to that point?

-CB


Thank you for your email and thank you for your service. My brother is in the Navy. So I understand the sacrifice and dedication it takes to serve our country. 

In response to your question, I have a few suggestions:

1) Stay current on the last IT trends. A good starting place is http://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner. There you will find quick hitting articles about whats going on in IT and what people care about most.

2) Network, Network, Network. Go on https://www.meetup.com/ and either join an IT group in your area or if there isn't one start your own. Who you know is going to be so important to get where you want to go. And also, uoin the IT groups on Linkedin. Identify people that are active in the community and then connect with them. Send them a similar message like you did with us. Try and get 5 messages out a week and have one conversation a week over the phone where you simply listen and get advice. This could be the most important thing that you do. Because you are part of the National Guard and soon to be Army, try and reach out to people that have share a similar background.

3) An area in IT you may want to look into is Cyber Security. Companies like Verizon who sells Cyber Security Services and offer great career opportunities for people out of the military. And since you worked at Allied Barton you will have a good story to tell when it comes time. So many Executives in that industry have come from military backgrounds.

4) When you become an officer in the Army, can you try and get a position that involves IT? Im not sure. But that would really set you up nicely. 

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