In 2006, as I proudly held my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, I had every intention of turning my back on college life. I was primed and ready to plunge into the world of business.
Fast-forwarding six years into a fulfilling tenure with a thriving company, I find myself poised to reenter academia. As I prepare to embark on this journey, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the experiences that brought me to this crossroads.
Despite earning a degree in Business Administration, it was my technical prowess that secured my first job, creating websites for a modest-sized enterprise. As the company grew, so did my role. I found myself managing the constantly evolving IT needs of an expanding business.
The stakes were even higher considering we were in the IT industry, specializing in burgeoning sectors like social media and online advertising. My responsibilities expanded rapidly from being a web developer – in reality, a jack-of-all-trades IT position – to dabbling in areas as diverse as marketing, HR functions, business planning, financial budgeting and forecasting, strategic research, legal analysis, and beyond.
Nowadays, my role is more specialized, one significant aspect of which is scouting new IT talent. An insight that hit me hard is how, for a small company, every hiring decision can be critical. One wrong hire can set the company back by months or even years.
As I sifted through potential candidates, I was struck by the scarcity of individuals with a blend of technical and entrepreneurial acumen. Even in an era of high unemployment, it felt as though virtually nobody possessed the combination of skills we sought.
Faced with this conundrum, I’ve resolved to head back to a local college. I want to see first-hand what’s being taught to the next generation of potential employees, and perhaps pick up a few new skills myself along the way.