Electrifying the future: Tech careers

From left: Doronna Vickers, Ryan Osborn and Leslie Abrenica at TechOlympics Expo 2013.

Several of us from Cincinnati Insurance spent a recent weekend volunteering with TechOlympics Expo 2013, The students we met truly embodied the theme of this year’s expo – Electrify! These millennials were completely engaged: eager to learn, willing to share and excited about their future. TechOlympics was a great way to get involved in the local community and introduce Cincinnati Insurance and our IT department to the next generation of IT talent.

What opportunities do young people in your area have to study and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math? Please use the comments to post your response

TechOlympics is a three-day, technology-focused conference, competition and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) career fair giving high school students an opportunity to explore new technology and connect with industry leaders. It is sponsored by INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati, a non-profit formed in 2005 by regional businesses and educators who discovered that some of the most talented young people were choosing not to pursue science and technology careers. The collaborative aims to create a rich, stimulating technology environment in the region, giving local young IT talent a compelling reason to stay in the southwest Ohio, southeast Indiana and Northern Kentucky region both for college and their careers.

Hundreds of students from the  area competed in an Olympics-style competition with projects centered on digital design, programming, social media and anything STEM-related. The students viewed technical demonstrations, received interview coaching from professional experts and networked at employer exhibits. Special thanks to Ryan Osborn, IT Administration; Leslie Abrenica, IT Support Services; and Pam Weisbrod, IT Data Management & Reporting, for staffing Cincinnati’s exhibit booth.

Breakout sessions introduced students to Kinect for developers; IT security testing; how to code in one hour; and digital marketing. Students also conversed with IT executives – including Osborn, who facilitated two IT&U round-table discussions where he discussed his path to IT executive leadership and offered tips for success. To learn more, visit INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati’s website.

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