A Little Background
Clay was born and raised in the Gila Valley of Southern Arizona. He graduated from the University of Arizona with bachelor’s degrees in both Management Information Systems and Operations Management, after which he received his master’s degree from Colorado Tech in Project Management.
Clay’s first full-time job was with IBM in desk site support. From his time at IBM, he learned that as long as you dedicate yourself to an ideal, you can always accomplish it. After three years doing desk site support, Clay was given the opportunity to do internet security. He had no experience doing internet security before the opportunity came, but he learned how to do it and quickly discovered that he enjoyed it. Unfortunately, IBM also taught Clay one of life’s more difficult lessons: just because you may be great at what you do it doesn’t guarantee you a job. IBM had to cut some of their employees and Clay found himself without a job. He then worked for Adobe for a little over a year before working as a part-time instructor at Broadview University and full-time at ICS for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
How can college help prepare students for the workplace?
Clay has learned that in order to succeed in the workplace, it is imperative that students learn to work well with a wide variety of people. The attitude that people have at work and with their coworkers is invaluable, so developing a positive attitude and a willingness to help and be supportive of fellow students is a great way to practice.
Students should learn that they can accomplish whatever they begin. If they are in a math class, and math is not their best subject, they should keep working at it and they will succeed. The classroom should be a place where everyone is professional, where stress is kept low, and where everyone can learn.
Why is the IT Program important?
Clay believes that everyone should take a basic computer class, no matter what field they are going into. Information technology is not a passive event anymore. Simply assuming that someone else will take care of computer problems is not enough; every field is or will soon be using some technology, so knowing the basics is crucial to surviving the technological world we live in. He says, “Don’t be afraid. It won’t kill you. Technology will change. Amazing and wonderful things can happen when a person is willing to learn some computer skills.”