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May 31, 2018

I’m a Technologist Too: Alyissa Dzaugis, STEAM Star

In previous posts, we defined the term “technologist,” a label that applies to people working in companies of all shapes and sizes across the country along a broad spectrum of industries – not just those that write software and make hardware. We explained that, while technologists have diverse interests and multifaceted personalities, most share five traits:

  1. A technologist thinks strategy first.
  2. A technologist has a passion for solving problems and a general sense of curiosity.
  3. A technologist sees technology in a constructive context.
  4. A technologist believes tech is about humans, not hardware.
  5. A technologist values respect, cooperation and collaboration.

10-Alyissa-Dzaugis-PORTRAITAs much as we love STEM education, we don’t ignore STEAM, which integrates “A”, for Arts, into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Alyissa Dzaugis earned a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin. Not a lot of technology in that coursework, and it’s hard to jump right into a well-paying job in the arts. But Dzaugis found a job working for Pearson, an educational publishing company that also has a hand in technology.

 

Seeing how technology fit into different subjects at Pearson changed her perspective. It opened her up to the world of tech startups, where her background in art and film came in surprisingly handy. The humanities taught her to think creatively, react quickly and work well on a team — crucial skills for the startup world.

 

Today, Dzaugis is a product manager for tech startup Scout Exchange, which works with human resource departments to help make recruiting easier at their companies.

 

“Marrying technology and the humanities is really powerful. It helps you see problems in new ways,” Dzaugis said in her interview for Charles Eaton’s book How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education.

 

Humanities courses and degrees emphasize connection and collaboration, skills with a lot of value in technology careers. The newest colleague on your tech team could be an English major or artist.

 

What interesting places has your tech path taken you?
Inspiring Success collects stories about technologists, and then shares them with people considering technology careers. Send your story to Contributing Editor R.C. Dirkes at rcdirkes@rclement.com and inspire someone.