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Career Exploration Video & Audio

Career Conversations

Career Conversations 07:
Industry Insights Information Technology

In this session students heard from representatives working in this field and found out where they see areas of growth and opportunity now and over the next five years. Students asked questions and learned what they can do today to give them an edge when they graduate.


Panelist Introductions

Graham CochraneGraham Cochrane
IT Manager, TD Bank Financial Group
After school, I decided to trade in the glamour and profit of four part-time minimum-wage jobs for a livable income and a workplace that didn't require a punch card. I landed in Financial Services and never left. I've done computer support, marketing, compliance, product management, and sales. Now, 16 years, 2 family members, and 1 MBA later, I'm, having more fun and work/life balance than ever before.

(intro not recorded)  
Industry Insights: Information Technology: What was the path that led to your current career choice and position?

Philip Cox  Philip Cox
Staff Software Developer, IBM
In high-school, I decided to study Computer Science at University because I "was good with computers",and didn't know what else to take. Since then, I've found out what Computer Science is, and I've managed to make a career out of it. I have never thought that I made a mistake in my choice, and have found a career that I really enjoy.

Industry Insights: Information Technology: Philip Cox Intro
Industry Insights: Information Technology: What was the path that led to your current career choice and position?
Industry Insights: Information Technology: What advice do you have to people hunting for entry level work in this field?

Alon Gurba  Alon Gurba
Associate Consultant, Infor Global Solutions
If I were to ask you, what are the chances of a kid who had trouble with grades in high school, who had hard time being accepted to a university, is now ranked at top 3% of York students (GPA) and is now working for third largest ERP software company in the world, supporting databases for clients such as MacDonald's and Toyota? You would have probably told me that it is impossible, and I would have replied that that is the story of my life. If you really want it and willing to work for it, you will make it.

Industry Insights: Information Technology: Alon Gurba Intro
Industry Insights: Information Technology: What was the path that led to your current career choice and position?

Ron Laudadio  Ron Laudadio
Director, Interactive Division, Ganz
Ron Laudadio is currently the Director of the Interactive Division at Ganz whose team developed and maintains Webkinz World for kids. Previous to his current position he was a Senior IT Architect and Technical Leader at IBM responsible for many of IBM's largest technical projects in Canada . His career spans a series of technical leadership roles leading foremost technical projects for companies such as Sears, Roots, HBC, Shell, and RBC.

Industry Insights: Information Technology: Ron Laudadio Intro
Industry Insights: Information Technology: What was the path that led to your current career choice and position?
Industry Insights: Information Technology: What advice do you have to people hunting for entry level work in this field?

Vesela Parapounska  Vesela Parapounska
Software Developer, IBM
I didn't believe that it will ever happen; as a woman and an international student with little programming skills or network, 4 years ago, I was sure that it would be impossible to get into the software industry. But then I learned that it is really me who defines what "impossible" is and also that I can be anything I want to be... Today, I am a software developer at IBM and I love my job. IBM provides me with countless opportunities for my future career and it makes me discover, every day, that anything is possible.

Industry Insights: Information Technology: Vesela Parapounska Intro
Industry Insights: Information Technology: What was the path that led to your current career choice and position?
Industry Insights: Information Technology: What advice do you have to people hunting for entry level work in this field?

Jimmy Talbot  Jimmy Talbot
Director of Technology Development, Vizible Corporation
After graduating from York University in Space Science (Computer Science stream) in 1996, I did my MSc. in Computer Graphics at the University of Toronto . While doing my MSc, I worked at SPAR Aerospace (maker of the Canadarm). In 1999, I joined Vizible Corporation as the first developer, and have been there ever since.

Industry Insights: Information Technology: Jimmy Talbot Intro
Industry Insights: Information Technology: What was the path that led to your current career choice and position?
Industry Insights: Information Technology: What advice do you have to people hunting for entry level work in this field?


Questions & Answers

Where do you see yourself in about 10 years?

How are IT degrees regarded in the field relative to Computer Science or Computer Engineering degrees?

When you work for IBM, do you only work on IBM technologies or do you have an opportunity to explore what other vendors are coming up with to?

For those who have experience in both areas, how does working for IBM compare with working for a smaller organization?

Could you comment on the future demand in this field and whether or not York grads will be competitive with more renown programs like Waterloo in that job market?

Could you comment on the future demand in this field and whether or not York grads will be competitive with more renown programs like Waterloo in that job market? (additional comments from Philip)

Can you describe the day to day life of a software developer – do you just sit in a cubicle all day coding?