IT One-Hour Mentor event features alumnus advising aspiring RU IT students
Corvesta Director of IT Governance and Project Management Officer David Danco MBA '12 joined Radford University Information Technology (IT) students for the final 2015 One-Hour IT Mentorship program March 27.
Danco, who is responsible for Corvesta's governance, quality assurance and information technology departments and its IT Division project management office, talked about stepping into the work world with ten students from ITEC 490 "IT Professionalism." Corvesta is the parent holding company for a family of companies dedicated to advancing oral health through scientific research, technology, and benefits and practice management.
"Here in the university, you are dealing primarily with intellectual challenges," he said. "In the business world, you will be dealing with people and organizational challenges as well."
Danco, whose portfolio includes supervising an 88-person staff with almost 50 projects underway at any given time, emphasized the value of "soft skills."
"You have to get along well with others - clients, colleagues or bosses. Your knowledge or experience doesn't matter as much as how you handle that challenge," he said. "Your reputation is critical in business. If you work well and work with others well, the organization will seek you out for other opportunities."
Among the soft skills Danco urged the students to develop were the ability to communicate technology to non-tech people, to make others feel comfortable verbally and non-verbally, to handle and manage conflict, to be both a follower and a leader and to keep a "can-do" attitude that helps their organization move forward.
The IT One-Hour Mentor Program is a pilot program between the Radford University Career Center and the Department of IT in which alumni and employer mentors volunteer to share career-related advice with RU students.
Danco's visit corresponded with a virtual visit to the Walker I-Lab by Northrop Grumman's Lorna Gardner, Cyber Academy instructional system designer and training developer. Other IT One-Hour Mentors this semester have been Arielle Davison, senior recruiter for Siegel Linc; Mason Gates '89, director of business development at CSO Research and Jeremy Fisher '97, director of information systems at Difinitive Logic.