Upskilling Event Provides Students with the Professional ‘Extras’ to Enhance Their Skill Sets
For college students, it can be hard to recognize that the decisions they make now can have an amplified impact on their future.
But to help emphasize that point, Dianora De Marco ’14 M’15, a manager in Ernst & Young’s financial accounting advisory services practice in New York City and a member of the Oswego College Foundation Board of Directors, shared an analogy in her keynote address at Upskilling in a Digital World in the Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation on Oct. 30.
“In air navigation, there is a 1 in 60 rule,” she said. “This is a rule of thumb which says, if you are a pilot and you are one degree off course at take-off, for every 60 miles you fly, you will miss your target by one mile.”
During a cross-country flight, that can mean the flight lands 50 miles away from its intended destination.
“This principle can be applied in the context of your own life,” she said. “You are on your own course, with your own destination. And you are the pilot calibrating the trajectory of your life.”
Students need to be responsible for implementing their own course corrections to land where they want to be in life, she said.
She also credited the students in attendance for taking the first step toward ensuring they are on the path to success. Digital upskilling—staying up-to-date on the latest emerging technologies and their applications in whatever the profession—will be vital to everyone.
“If you continue to prioritize your digital skillset, by the time you graduate, you’ll be in a better position to land that first job and differentiate yourself at that job,” De Marco told students.
In her opening remarks, College President Deborah F. Stanley explained that the upskilling event stemmed from a discussion at the College Foundation spring 2019 board meeting.
“We embraced their idea and we brought it to life through today’s event, which allows us to provide you—our students—with additional learning opportunities that will help you expand your skill sets,” President Stanley said. “Gaining these upskilling aptitudes, in addition to earning your SUNY Oswego degree, will help prepare you for the workplace in a way the business and technology sectors understand and need.”
Following De Marco’s remarks, event emcee Jeff Knauss ’07, CEO/co-founder of The Digital Hyve and Oswego College Foundation Board of Directors member, invited students to attend one of three tracks:
- DATA ANALYTICS/TABLEAU, featuring speaker Oliver Medonza ’16 M’18, UX Researcher at Edward Jones, and facilitated by Pranay Chapagain M’15 M’20, web application developer at SUNY Oswego
- ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION (RPA)/UIPATH, featuring speaker Janette Hausler ’89, global vice president of Partner Marketing at UiPath, and facilitated by Rick Buck ’05 M’10, director of digital services at SUNY Oswego
- CYBERSECURITY/COMPTIA, featuring speaker Mark Lobel ’85, principal at PwC, and facilitated by Ursula Wilkinson, information security analyst at SUNY Oswego
Attendees were encouraged to take advantage of the college’s subscription to online learning modules and earn badges and certifications through LinkedIn Learning. They were also invited to get a professional portrait taken in Career Services’ LinkedIn Photo Studio, which was set up and available during a reception immediately following the sessions.
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