One of the best ways to enhance your career is through networking. We’ve all heard the constant talk about the importance of networking and the saying “it’s not what you know but who you know.” But today, networking is more than attending events and talking about your career. Today, you must be part of a community–and that community will become your most trusted network. For those wanting leadership roles in the IT field, that means being part of a technology management community.
But how do you get involved? Where do you find individuals that share your passions? These are all concerns facing business professionals. For students in George Mason’s Masters in Technology Management degree program, there are many ways to be a part of the technology management community.
Connected to the Global Technology Management Community
Mason’s Masters in Technology Management program is a partner in CIO University, a consortium of seven universities offering graduate level technology management programs that directly address the executive core competencies adopted by the Federal Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council. The purpose of the CIO University is to improve the management of information technology in the federal government by enhancing the skills of its top executives.
Mason’s Technology Management program is also a founding member of the International Academy of CIO (IAC), an organization that provides effective collaboration among CIOs, academia and expert parties both in the public and private sectors who are highly concerned with issues related to CIO. Founded in 2005, the IAC is headquartered in Tokyo and has active participation from over fifty countries. For students looking to expand their technology management community, the International Academy of CIO offers many activities for networking, including workshops, conventions, symposia, lectures, seminars, meetings and more.
George Mason is also an academic member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. ITU has 193 member states as well as corporate and academic members and allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strives to improve access to ICTs to under-served communities worldwide. George Mason and Waseda University in Japan are working to establish a CIO Forum in the ITU to further the exchange of best practices of IT leadership among the member states.
Connected to the Local Technology Management Community
We also partner with professional groups including Capital Technology Management Hub (CTMH), a leading networking organization for technology management professionals in the Washington, D.C., metro area that was founded by our alumni. The group provides a forum where professionals can effectively network, learn, recruit, and search for new career opportunities.
Of course, one of the biggest ways to begin developing your own technology management community is to start in your program with your own cohort. Your classmates will become your closest network, and the students that came before you, alumni of the Technology Management Program, are business professionals that will also become part of your network. Students in our Technology Management program are seasoned IT professionals coming from the private, government, and military sectors.
Since the start of the program in 1998, there have been more than 550 graduates – all technology management professionals that are part of our community, our own Mason Technology Management community. Our alumni are part of a prestigious technology management network of senior level IT professionals including presidents, CIOs, COOs, CISOs, and entrepreneurs. In addition, our Technology Management program also has an advisory council consisting of a select group of regional IT executives that serve as student mentors and keep our program on the leading edge of the technology industry.
The main thing to always remember is that a network is only as good as the time and effort you put into it. Making the time to attend events and to reach out to others will help your network grow. The students that are your classmates today may be your colleagues tomorrow, or even the CIO of a firm you are interested in joining. You never know. Don’t forget that every encounter with anyone you meet is a chance to grow and build your own technology management community.