April 5, 2016
Two technology enthusiasts teamed up to share their great perspective on why you should get involved with the IT United Career Fair. On April 12 dozens of IT professionals will gather to share insight and advice on technology with high school students.
Stephanie Coffey, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), is pursuing a degree in Information Science and Technology and will be volunteering to mentor students at the fair.
Keevin Allen is a Sr. Project Manager at Harley-Davidson Motor Company and member of United Way’s IT United, who has been volunteering at the career fair for the last three years.
Why are you so passionate about the IT field and how do you hope to use that and your knowledge in the industry to inspire students who attend the fair?
Stephanie: Last summer I overheard a conversation between two employees in the hallway prompting me to take action. The employees were concerned about their job security due to their lack of technology skills. I decided to enroll in UWM's School of Information Studies (SOIS) Information Science & Technology degree program. My past experience working with diverse populations has given me insight into the importance of equal access to information in our global society. My goal is to learn more about how to use information technology to help bridge social capital, and inspire others to do the same.
Keevin: I see the mission of United Way--to change lives and improve our community by mobilizing people and resources to drive strategic impact in Education--as a key reason to volunteer at the United Way IT United Career fair. The fair introduces students to Information Technology as a career and provides access to local professionals. This is my third year volunteering for the career fair and I am as excited as I was my first year. The chance to meet with students who have expressed interest in IT is well worth my time and allows me to showcase my experience.
Share a Memorable Moment from Your Involvement with IT United?
Stephanie: One of the most valuable experiences I’ve had was attending the IT United Annual CIO Forum. The speakers offered enlightening insight into what's happening in the corporate world in terms of information technology trends. I took lots of notes and made a few connections. An IT executive from Johnson Controls invited me to LinkedIn and introduced me to another contact, which had created a large database for a nonprofit organization benefiting the homeless in Wisconsin. They were very friendly professionals and willing to tell me about their work and what to expect in the industry. I felt that these innovative, passionate problem solvers truly love what they do.
Keevin: Each year I’ve really loved being able to help both the high school and college students who attend. I feel the career fair gives them a real life application of what the technology field is all about. The UWM students are also given networking and Q&A time with professionals. I enjoy hearing their perspective and plans after graduating. By having the opportunity to engage all these students at the fair, I get to share and extend my passion for my job.