An Interview with James Siano
Monday, February 18, 2013
Posted by: Carolyn Dolezal, AITP Executive Director
Editor's Note:This interview is part of a series featuring AITP members. Check out Jim's story! If you or someone you know should be featured in an upcoming article, let us know. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
James is a System Administrator at Lockheed Martin
Q: How long have you been part of AITP?
A: I started as a college student with AITP back in 1983. Later, I joined AITP as a professional member. I have always been part of the Southern New Jersey chapter. I visit as many chapters as I can. When I am traveling for work, I can always go and drop in at a local meeting. I'll check in advance to see if there are activities in the city I am visiting and I'll attend the meeting if the place and timing work out. I've visited Virginia, San Diego, and New York to name just a few.
Q: Did you find it easy to get involved with AITP?
A: I found it very easy to get involved. AITP is very inclusive. In addition to involvement at my local chapter, I was invited to participate at the regional level and met a lot of people from different local chapters at the regional meeting.
Q: What are some of the things you like best about AITP?
A: I love that AITP provides a general base of knowledge with its meetings and its services. An IT professional will find all kinds of topics on both the technical and managerial sides of the job. You may learn something at a meeting that you are not involved with at the time, then find six months later that it is an issue for you at your business. Then you'll recall that you were introduced to this at AITP, and can reach back to the resources and people in AITP and get up to speed quickly.
AITP stretches you. You can learn about a topic or issue that is outside your initial comfort zone. You will meet people and contacts that can help you figure how to build your skills and apply them to your work environment. At our meetings, we also have people attending who are in job transitions. AITP is a great way to network with other professionals and perhaps find a new opportunity.
Q: How have you found AITP to be different from other networking methods, such as social tools?
A: You can for sure make contacts through social media, such as LinkedIn. But nothing beats face-to-face discussion and contact with interested and interesting people. AITP gives you that.
Q: Who should consider joining AITP?
A: I love to learn. AITP gave me a place to learn, and did push me outside my comfort zone. You can go to specialty skill meetings (like C++ programming) which give technical knowledge. AITP also rounds you out with the breadth and depth of things you learn about how to apply your knowledge and how to make a difference in your business. I would love to see more student members bridge over and become active members like I did. IT is a changing profession and it is important to keep learning. You can use information from the AITP sessions to use in presentations to your business, and bring some great benefits to your home company.