Colorado University, School of Business Annual “Business Leaders with an Edge” Student Forum
A panel of C-Level Business Leaders “Talking on Tech”, with Marina Johnson, CEO of MOST Programming.
Helping students focus and develop their careers in the Tech Field; and how to stand out.
Excerpts from the CU Denver Business School Newsroom.
The CU Business School welcomed Darius Alavi (VP of Software Development at Spectrum), Jenny Avery (VP of IT & Systems at Jonah Energy), Marina Johnson (CEO of MOST Programming), Ryan Buerger (Senior Director of Infrastructure & Operations at FirstBank), and Sujan Turlapaty (CIO at Optiv) to participate in the 16th annual “Talking on Tech” event.
The five executives discussed the future of the tech world, clarified employers’ hiring expectations, and advised students on the best ways to sharpen and apply their skills in any facet of modern technology.
New and soon-to-be graduates want to know what exciting job opportunities await them.
For Marina Johnson, CEO of MOST Programming, the most problematic thing a student can do is restrict themselves to limited knowledge. She encouraged participants to stay curious and take on new challenges.
“Your current knowledge doesn’t matter; what’s more important is what you’re willing to learn,” Johnson asserted.
“With a college degree, you’re starting as an associate analyst,” said Ryan Buerger, Senior Director of Infrastructure & Operations at FirstBank. He encouraged students to start building their experience in college so that they may position themselves as stronger applicants after graduation.
Constant curiosity: a growth mindset
Technology is an ever-evolving field, and curiosity is one of the key factors of professional growth. Sujan Turlapaty prescribed that students should have a clear vision and go after it steadily. “Think big, start small, move fast,” he emphasized.
Jenny Avery testified that constant curiosity helped her grow into a knowledgeable and globally conscious leader in tech. LinkedIn Learning is her go-to platform when she wants to learn soft skills, and she encouraged those interested in leadership positions to take advantage of such resources.
As a CEO, Johnson firmly believes that listening to employees and customers is the best way to make observations and draw conclusions rather than becoming overbearing or making assumptions.
For active professionals and leaders in the tech field, listening to others is an excellent way to apply the growth mindset.
A mutual fit
Diversity is a key determinant of success for any organization, and culture also has a huge impact.
The panelists strongly charged the audience to apply the learnings of the event and relished the students’ enthusiasm.
The students, in kind, felt grateful for the opportunity.
Sai Nandan, a graduate student and ISA member, shared that “organizing the event meant creating professional development opportunities and giving Information Systems students what they need.”
A time for student networking with the panelists followed, giving one on one mentorship.