It was a pleasure to be the moderator for the June 27 CIO panel at IC Stars. Panel participants were Jeff Myland, SVP of Digital at R.R. Donnelley, Mark Booth, CIO at Reyes Holdings and Jerry Hendrickson, SVP of Global Markets at Mesirow Financial.  The audience were the current interns and a few alumni of IC Stars.

For those not familiar with IC Stars, it is an extremely effective workforce development program that brings low-income young adults into the IT workforce.  They are immersed into rigorous 16-week program where the interns learn about all aspects of developing an application and work in conjunction with the IT team of a local Chicago area firm.  The interns take turns as developers, project managers, SCRUM masters, BA’s and testers.  They are divided into teams and compete against one another as to who will deliver the best solution to their corporate sponsor.  Corporate sponsors have included leading Chicago area companies like TTX, The PrivateBank, Seyfarth Shaw, and Paylocity.

It is truly an IT boot camp where they work 5 days a week, 12 hours a day –  from 8am to 8pm.  If they are late more than once, or miss more than once, they are out of the program, so they quickly learn the dedication and commitment needed to excel in our industry.  It is a pleasure for InfoTech Resources to be a corporate sponsor of such an incredible organization that does such great work for Chicago.

One of the things I have had the pleasure of doing over the past couple years is to moderate a panel of local IT executives for the interns of IC Stars.  They get to hear real world stories from leaders that have worked their way to the top of their fields.  The insight is incredible and most importantly it is real.  These leaders hear about how they got their first jobs and what they did well in order to move up.  They also hear about projects that didn’t go so well and how they recovered. They hear what leaders look for when they promote and how to prepare and be ready to interview.  Most importantly, they see that these leaders are real people with senses of humor and not some mysterious figures behind a curtain.

Mark Booth (Reyes), Jeff Myland (RRD) and Jerry Hendrickson (Mesirow) were our most recent panelists and all did an outstanding job.  They made the evening fun as well as insightful.  Thank you to IC Stars for all the great work you do.

Bob Moore
President, InfoTech Resources

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