Every one of us uses technology to perform daily tasks, yet, as a career path it remains an elusive industry for those who don’t have prior tech industry experience.
At this year’s Johnson Women in Technology Conference we had the chance to meet many different students, both female and male, with various backgrounds and careers, all of whom seek careers in technology companies post-MBA.
A pervasive theme at the event was “Dare to Tech” and what it represents is regardless of gender, if you dare to tech, then also dare to believe in yourself. Here are three main takeaways from the conference that we hope reinforce that fearlessness as you navigate your career.
· Choose your path. There is a misconception that to be in the tech industry you must pursue a product management or product marketing role. Like any other company, tech companies have other functions that leverage various strengths and skills, and might be better routes to your end goal. Don’t short change yourself just because you’re currently in school. Take what you’ve learned and apply it to the roles you want. Make your experience applicable to your destination to tell your story.
· Be a leader at every stage of your career. While a MBA gets you in the door faster, it’s not in itself, a prerequisite for leadership, as was evident from some of the speakers. Leadership isn’t demonstrable only through title or compensation; it’s a trait shown on a daily basis through one’s actions, relationships and overall performance. Just as you can impact a business from the top line, you can do so from the bottom line. Wherever you end up, make sure to maximize your time by becoming a leader in that role. Take the time to understand what’s important to the business, your manager and manager’s manager, to anyone you have an interaction with so that you when you advocate for yourself, your projects, your resources, you can show your leadership impact. Being a leader at every phase in your career is the path to becoming a leader. Building leadership skills is something Adobe focuses a lot on: http://blogs.adobe.com/adobelife/2014/06/02/leadership/
· Focus on your strength. If you thrive in structured environments, don’t take a role where you’re responsible for defining an opportunity. If you excel in interpersonal relationships consider sales or customer success roles. In short, set yourself up for success, and if you’re not sure then ask, be proactive: reach out to alumnae and network with colleagues during your internship and on the job to learn about other teams, functions.
Conferences like the Johnson Women in Tech conference offer the opportunity to hear different perspectives from successful professionals, which ideally sparks conversations and relationships that continue beyond the event, and as each of you succeed in your endeavors, we hope that you also support others who are similarly daring to to dream.
To learn more about Adobe Life check out http://blogs.adobe.com/adobelife/
- The Adobe team: Violet Bell and Miran K Liu