Interview with David Willmer, 2003 AITP National Collegiate Conference Keynote Speaker
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Posted by: Kevin Jetton
Information Executive/Nanosecond spent a few minutes with David Willmer of Robert Half Technology, discussing his impressions from the 2003 AITP National Collegiate Conference
Nanosecond: What were your impressions of the conference prior to arriving at Purdue University?
Willmer: I was very excited about the opportunity to speak to tomorrow's information technology workforce. These are the individuals who'll be setting the course for the future of IT. I hope to continue to serve as a resource to them throughout their careers.
Nanosecond: Could you briefly explain the main points of you speech?
Willmer: I offered the AITP student membership a brief snapshot of the current IT employment market as well as the long-term outlook, which, despite the current economic uncertainty, remains strong.
I then discussed some of the issues that are important to today's hiring managers. What are they looking for in a job candidate?
This was followed up by sage advice on how to best connect with and communicate to those responsible for making hiring decisions -- from networking strategies to resume and interview techniques.
Nanosecond: What did you hope to convey most to the students you spoke to and what do you hope they took with them from your speech?
Willmer: My goal was to convey to the audience that there ARE opportunities in today's IT employment market. It is not without challenges, but with a sound strategy, you can find meaningful work.
I hope that the audience took away the following key points:
In any communication with a potential employer, you must be able to communicate how you can contribute to his or her firm. You need to speak in their terms. You need to find out what's important to them.
Throughout your career, you need to keep your skills upgraded. You need to take responsibility for your own professional development and remember that you're never finished learning.
Whether you're seeking employment or not, you should be networking. You're on the right track with your involvement with the AITP, but don't let it stop there. Attend trade shows, join user groups -- become involved in your industry any way you can. Today and tomorrow's best jobs are usually found through personal and professional contacts.
Nanosecond: What were your overall impressions of the 2003 AITP National Collegiate Conference?
Willmer: It was an excellent event! In addition to the information I discussed, there were several strong presentations filled with exactly the kind of information required to help you get a head start on your career. I urge you to continue your participation in the AITP throughout your career.
Nanosecond: Would this be an event you plan on attending again?
Willmer: As the president of my local AITP chapter, I understand and appreciate the positive role participation in the association means to my career, and I'm excited to see so many of you feel the same way. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak to you at this point in your careers and hope to do so again in the future.