The Information Technology Academy’s Madison program (ITA Madison) hosted its inaugural Career Central event on Saturday, November 17 to help students consider and prepare for potential careers in the IT profession.
The event featured guests such as Vickie Arenson, a recruitment coordinator with UW-Madison’s Division of Information Technology (DoIT), and activities tailored to each cohort. Freshmen participated in a workshop about their digital footprint and evaluated the dos and don’ts of a professional’s resume. Sophomores and juniors took part in workshops facilitated by UW-Madison Student Leadership Program (SLP) representatives that included mock interviews to prepare them for real-life interviews.
“It was very informative” said freshman Maya Dettwiler. “They taught us how to prepare ourselves for a job, especially with social media presence.”
Although similar opportunities were provided in the past, the new Career Central event consolidates and expands upon those activities. In addition, the activities used to be in spring and summer, but scheduling changes provided an opportunity to rethink when and how the workshops could be offered to maximize the benefits to all ITA Madison students.
“I was thinking, how do we look at it from the point of view of students from when they get into the program through when they graduate?” said Sarah Hallas, ITA Madison’s leadership and career services manager. “This is a really important area and we want our students to feel confident and comfortable and excel when it comes to thinking about and preparing for their careers.”
When asked if the event was helpful, students said it was a good experience.
“I had fun,” said junior Cassandra Angeles. “It was a new way to learn my strengths and weaknesses. I wish there was more time allocated for this activity.”
After the success of the first Career Central event, ITA Madison staff and students will reflect on potential improvements for the future as preparing students for professions in IT is a critical element of ITA’s mission..
“I enjoyed seeing our students engaged in this activity that will help them develop their professional presence. It is never too early to practice interview skills,” said Ron Jetty, assistant director of DoIT Academic Technology’s IT Pre-College Outreach and ITA executive director.