Humans of Lakeland – Alice Demeter, ITCS

Humans of Lakeland –  Alice Demeter, ITCS


I have such a soft spot in my heart for
this college and I directly attribute the success that I’ve had in my 30,
30 plus year career in IT to the instruction that I received here at
Lakeland. Upon graduating from Mentor High do we have any Cardinals in the room? But in 1981 and I had a goal of pursuing
an upper education so I enrolled at Lakeland I was putting myself through
college and I was able to cover the incredibly reasonable tuition caused by
working part-time at Great Lakes Mall in retail. I originally wanted to attain a
degree in accounting but I changed direction when I took one of the
required computer programming courses and really became intrigued with at the
time of really you know this growing profession. So, I received my associates
degree about 82, 83 and it was in information systems at the time. And I’m,
this was so rare for women because we really didn’t go into those technical
professions. So it was just really different time back then. Right after
graduation I was able to secure rookie programming position at Bailey
Controls in Wickliffe. It’s now called Babcock Wilcox. And IT management at
Bailey really found Lakeland graduates to be viable candidates to hire due to
the foundational hands on programming skills that were built. Because of the
large volume of actual programs that I had written in my IT courses I felt
really quite comfortable out of the gate joining my team, and back in the day we
called slinging code when we were kicking out our programs with the team,
but based on what I learned here at Lakeland because I really had the
fundamental tools and techniques to be productive in the corporate world. My
technical career then continued as I joined other large IT firms across the
Cleveland area and moved in a more senior and lead level programming
positions. From programming I moved into project management and ran
multimillion-dollar software development projects. And then over the last seven
years, I’ve been in the position of an IT manager at Progressive with direct reports
of up to 30 IT professionals. But I can sincerely say that my career has
resulted due to the education that I received right here at Lakeland, along
with a good amount of hard work and initiative of course, but it really gave
me quite a jump start into getting into the technology field. I also want to
share how important it was for me to have mentors and role models throughout
my career and I really encourage each one of you to find someone who you can
look up to in your field who will be that trusted advisor. Someone with wisdom
and experience you can really get good coaching from. When I was at Lakeland
here, I had an amazing professor who was so instrumental instrumental to me when
I was a student. Her name was Professor Judy Mazzeo and she was incredible. I was
very sad to hear that Mrs. Mazzeo or Maz, as we all used to call her
affectionately, passed away back in 2010 after battle with cancer, but
she left such a legacy behind her and I found out about her passing because here
I’ve had this 30-year career and I always remembered her, you know. You’ll
find someone like that. You’ll always have someone who’s so instrumental in the
career choices that you made. So I reached out here to Lakeland and found
out about her passing, but I just wanted to thank her for all of the foundation
that her coaching and training and teaching had provided for me. But she
really held our class to a high standard of delivering quality program,
programming. She had an extensive corporate career herself, which I know
many many of the professor’s here at Lakeland do. And she brought real world
business scenarios into the classroom where she would have us assess and
develop technical solutions for actual case studies. But because of Mrs. Mazzeo
and Lakeland Community College I really was well prepared to secure
that rookie programming position upon graduation. So someone like Mrs. Manzo,
she was a leader and a role model and I really appreciate what she did and what
this college did to provide that high caliber training and instruction to help
out with a successful career that’s resulted. So now, I just want to leave you
with this quote, and I know you’ll know this name, from a truly fearless
technology leader. He was the founder chairman and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be
truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way
to do great work, is to love what you do and if you haven’t found it yet keep
looking don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find
it and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years
roll on. So, keep looking until you find it and don’t settle. So, I truly wish all
of you much much success in this exciting time in your lives. So, thank you so much.

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