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Recommendations for IT applicants?

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Recommendations for IT applicants? [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2008, 16:02
Paul,

I have read in your other posts that many IT applicants start off at a disadvantage because IT organizations are usually flat and there are few opportunities for leadership/managerial advancement. I notice that too in my current company... positions in marketing seem to all have the label "manager" in the title, whether it's managing people or accounts or relationships. Also, in those roles you get more chances to show leadership through tangible bottom line results or other more typical "leadership" areas.

There are currently 15 or so engineers to one manager in my team and the type of work you do as an engineer, however important or critical, is still scoped to a "project" - processing business requirements to designs, scheduling your tasks, and creating a plan. It provides limited examples to use in the essays.

What type of things can IT applicants point to for leadership? It would be helpful to see some examples to understand what can work and what things don't.

Thank you!

Last edited by gmatnoob on 10 Mar 2008, 16:51, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Recommendations for IT applicants? [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2008, 16:39
Leadership is not only working for project. It is when you go out of your normal duty calls and do something exemplery. It is when you can inject fresh blood in your team mates when nothing is going right.
Expanding your project from size of 10 to 100+ is leadership trait. Working on one project, and bringing project from another client in same area another example.
Leadership cannot be counted or pointed to. A leader can turn even silly things into countable attributes and a waster can do just opposite of that.
I can do is must however equally at ease should be I can't do because X, Y, & Z .....
Don't wait for oppurtunity, just create them and you are leader.
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Re: Recommendations for IT applicants? [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2008, 17:21
abhijit_sen wrote:
Leadership is not only working for project. It is when you go out of your normal duty calls and do something exemplery. It is when you can inject fresh blood in your team mates when nothing is going right.
Expanding your project from size of 10 to 100+ is leadership trait. Working on one project, and bringing project from another client in same area another example.
Leadership cannot be counted or pointed to. A leader can turn even silly things into countable attributes and a waster can do just opposite of that.
I can do is must however equally at ease should be I can't do because X, Y, & Z .....
Don't wait for oppurtunity, just create them and you are leader.


I understand what you are saying and growing a project from size of 10 to 100 (while I do not clearly understand what growing a project means) is the kind of tangible examples I meant when I said "point to." Whether you count, point to, demonstrate leadership, it still has to be tangible enough to describe. You actually pointed to "injecting fresh blood" and growing a project as examples... and those are the kind of things I wanted to see.

Let me give you examples of the daily duties I would be involved in.

Product management creates requirements for the next product release. The software development team would process them and create design specs out of them. We move on to scheduling and planning for our tasks, implement them, and so on. In this context, what are some things I can mention in terms of leadership? I unofficially managed some junior engineers to provide guidance for their tasks... did some scheduling.. things of that sort. However, are they enough to demonstrate the level of leadership the adcoms would perceive as "great" leadership? Compared to some examples, they seem underwhelming. Perhaps not. That's what I'm trying to understand.
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Re: Recommendations for IT applicants? [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2008, 08:29
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gmatnoob,

The adcoms will define leadership broadly to include the informal or project-focused kind of leadership that takes place in IT. Showing initiative, building consensus, innovating, "managing up," any coordination of teams of people toward a specific positive result can be portrayed legitimately as leadership. Achievements that are primarily technical rather than related to managing/driving people or achievements that you basically accomplished on your own are not as helpful. Producing results by galvanizing people in a way that goes beyond what is expected of your role is leadership. Will your stories be good enough? It depends on the impact, on the school you're applying to, on whether your career progress shows some 'fast track' elements, and/or on whether you can point to real leadership stories outside of work to corroborate your work leadership.

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Re: Recommendations for IT applicants? [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2008, 09:46
I am myself a software professional, so I have pretty good idea how the IT organisation works. Even the review committee will in colleges will know that. So your day to day activities is not going to count in application until and unless you show them how your activities were crucial to organisation development.
E.g. You might be part of project and doing your assigned task, but you also created a training for fresh intern in your organisation who are supposed to join project in same technology. In that way you have created an assest for organisation. You care for it, you have nurtured it, you show that you think about not only your development but also about organisation as a whole.
Growing a team size from 10 to 100 is not a small thing. It will add 10 times more revenue from the project. A project that might be earning only 10 Milllion, will start earning 100 Million so it is not a small thing. It shows your sales potential.
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