What Would You Tell The Next Generation About Working In Tech?

The Next Generation

If you could say one thing to a girl in elementary school or high school about what it's like to work in the channel, what would you say?

That's the question CRN asked Women Of The Channel executives -- take a look at what they say to young girls to inspire the next generation of channel leaders.

Learn Something New Every Day

One of the most exciting things about working in the channel is that you will learn something new every day, Mary Ellen Grom, vice president of U.S. marketing at Synnex, said. Especially for young women interested in marketing, Grom said the channel offers a fast-paced market in which to build and strategize.

"That's exciting," Grom said.

Exposure To All Sides Of Technology

Westcon Group CMO Katie Dumala said she would tell a young girl that the channel is exciting because you get to watch the changes in technology happen in real time. From the Internet, to the cloud, to new software and apps, Dumala said that she loves being on the front lines of changing technology.

"You get access to all the changes in technology and how it impacts the world," Dumala said. "I think that's the cool part about the channel -- you just get that visibility to all of those facets of technology and all the ecosystems around it."

No Two Days Are The Same

When you're in the channel, no two days are the same, Synnex's Grom said. While a lot of careers fall into a routine and agenda, Grom said that you never know what you're going to get with the tech industry.

"It's kind of the thrill of trying to be able to stay on your toes and know enough to be dangerous about so many different facets of the industry," Grom said. "I think just having an opportunity to really learn something new every day and not get stuck in a rut in this industry is what helps us thrive and survive."

Innovation Rules

Sherri Liebo, vice president of global partner marketing at Cisco Systems, said she would tell young women that the channel is an interesting place to work because it's an "innovating ecosystem." With a diverse group of people, Liebo said that the innovation in the channel is what keeps the job interesting each and every day. That will only continue, she said, as the channel reinvents itself again and again.

Have Fun And Make Money

On a more practical level, the channel is a great place to have fun but also make some money, Chris Wolff, vice president of the Global Cisco Alliance at Dimension Data, said. As the cost of living continues to rise, economic realities are making careers in technology much more appealing, she said.

"If you want to come to a place where you're going to have fun, never be bored, make money, make friends -- I think that's true extensively about the industry," Wolff said.

Having A Real-World Impact

While the channel isn't directly saving lives, its technology can, Synnex's Grom said. From its work in the health-care space to helping businesses bounce back after a disaster with disaster recovery solutions, there's a lot of good that the channel can do in the world, she said.

"Technology usually has an application or solution that can make things better and that can be life-changing, it really can," Grom said.