Eileen Ching

Eileen Ching

Applied Science/Computer Science '91

Eileen Ching is an Applied Science/Computer Science graduate from 1991.  She is an IT Director at GlaxoSmithKline where she has worked for 15 years.  She started out as a programmer, and has moved on to several different positions in IT including operations and portfolio management, strategy and consulting, business analysis, and managing IT services.

Q&A with Eileen:

What kind of skills do you use?
To be effective in my job, I need to employ both leadership and technical skills. As a leader, I must use such skills as communication, influencing, and coaching. Since I manage a technical service, it is important for me to understand current technologies and how we can leverage them to better serve our customers.

Why did you major in CS?
I enjoyed programming when I was in high school, and I wanted to apply my computer and software skills to businesses that would benefit from automation.

How would you define a CIS graduate?
Someone who has strong analytical and problem-solving skills and who is always looking for ways to improve.

In what ways do you collaborate with co-workers and team members in your job?
I work very closely with other IT service managers who either have services that feed into ours or have services that depend on ours. We have both high-level strategy-oriented discussions where we brainstorm on how best to improve our services, as well as very detailed operational conversations to tackle everyday issues. We have to make sure that we have clear and common understanding of each others' requirements and expectations, and we always have to keep each other informed.

How have you worked on your leadership skills since graduation?
I obtained my MBA degree part-time while working full-time. I took many leadership classes both internal and external to my company. I read books on leadership. I tried to emulate those whose leadership skills I admire. More importantly, I never stopped honing those skills as I deal with issues and challenges on the job!

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