January 25, 2024
Students filled the 14th floor conference rooms at Fiterman Hall on January 24 for the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Tech Readiness Day.
The all-day event was sponsored by the Grow with Google program in collaboration with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and the Center for Career Development with support from the Office of Student Affairs. More than 200 students participated either in person or virtually.
Tech Readiness Day was designed to help students sharpen the types of skills and knowledge needed to launch an internship or career in technology related fields. In addition to taking part in hands-on workshops, attendees could network with industry representatives and alumni.
Representatives from Google, Dell Technologies, WIX and Pure Storage were available to speak with students and led breakout sessions throughout the day.
Caitlin Herring, Academics Partnership Manager at WIX, a web design platform, led a session focused on developing an online presence and impress potential employers.
“We talked about how to create online portfolio so they can showcase the skills they are learning here at BMCC,” said Herring. “As we’re moving more into a world where skills-based hiring is becoming really important, just being able to understand what skills you offer and how to present and share them will make individuals on the job market highly competitive.”
Eric Simon, Vice President of Sales at Pure Storage, a data platform company, co-led a workshop focused on navigating the unique landscape of the New York City tech industry including sales, education, solution engineering, cybersecurity and more.
He advised future tech job hunters to explore areas beyond the basics of coding and focus on acquiring other skill sets such as HR technology, people-centered design or anything in particular where an individual can continue their education and career pathway.
“They should find something they are passionate about, whether that’s development or something else, whether they’re technical or sales focused,” said Simon.
The event also featured a panel of alumni who shared real-world experiences and offered tips to help students navigate their own tech world journeys.
Among those returning to BMCC were Michael Hicks who graduated in 2020 with a degree in Computer Network Technology and is currently working at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as an End User Support Analyst.
Hicks grew up in Brooklyn and says he always knew he wanted to pursue a career in technology. At BMCC, he worked at the Center for Career Development and says his most impactful classes were the introductory courses to computing systems, information systems and others that enabled him to get a solid base to jump off into more advanced areas of technology.
“After graduating BMCC, I worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as an IT analyst and when the opportunity came up was able to use my experience to pivot into the position at NYSE,” said Hicks. “I decided to work full-time so I decided to continue my education online at Western Governors University, majoring in Information Technology.”
Lana Shindler, who moved to the United States from Israel had worked for years in marketing and management and enrolled at BMCC in 2018 as a Business Administration major. But by her third semester, she was focused almost solely on math and big-data courses and exploring four-year programs in data science and ended up at New York City College of Technology/City Tech (CUNY), from which she is set to graduate in May.
“The slogan, ‘Start Here Go Anywhere’, in my case, I proved it 100 percent,” said Shindler who recently completed a data engineering/financial technology internship at Global Atlantic Financial Group and plans to explore careers in data science and machine learning. “I always tell people about how good my BMCC experience was.”
Elizabeth Yan, Career Technology Specialist at the BMCC Center for Career Development said the event was a great success.
“There was a tremendous amount of student engagement with both our alumni as well as our industry speakers,” said Yan.
Learn more about BMCC’s Computer Information Systems’ programs here.
- Event features advice from industry representatives and alumni
- Students attend breakout sessions focused on showcasing skill set
- Alumni say BMCC courses provide strong IT fundamentals