LinkedIn is THE place for professional networking on the Internet. The iSchool was lucky enough to have LinkedIn’s IT Support Manager, Laura Nisivoccia come and visit as part of the HINDSights Alumni Visitor Series. Nisivoccia is a 1994 graduate of Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management with a B.S. in Management Information Systems and Services.
Starting from the bottom
Laura started at Syracuse as an accounting major but soon realized that she wanted a career that was more people-oriented. She found out about the MIS major and found it much more interesting.
Upon graduation, she did not really have a set-in-stone idea for what she wanted to do for a career, but knew that she liked computers and that she enjoyed working with people. Laura interviewed for a customer service position for a pharmaceutical sales company and landed it.
In this role, she could follow two of her passions: technical support and working with people. After working in customer service for a bit she moved into supply chain management and worked in that field for 15 years.
Every day, Laura was able to solve complex problems while using and learning different types of systems for businesses all over the world, with companies ranging from BP to Ben and Jerry’s. She found this extremely rewarding, as she was able to solve a range of problems while still working with people.
In 2013 she got a call from LinkedIn. They wanted her to interview for the job as their IT Support Manager. The interview process was grueling, but she appreciated that they took the interviews seriously. Laura believes that her current team is the best of the best.
Laura’s team is responsible for making sure that all of the IT for any event is secure.
Every day she schedules a one-on-one meeting with her team. She finds these meetings helpful for building team unity and collaboration, and she keeps the tone of the meetings casual to strengthen team morale.
Career advice for students
A specific piece of advice that Laura emphasized for students is to get internship experience. Although summer internships are good, Laura advises getting an internship during the school year, too. When interning, students should try to absorb as much information as possible. A great way to do this is constantly writing notes down and asking a lot of questions.
Laura also emphasized that during their college years is when students should start becoming self-promoters. She stressed that when using LinkedIn, or any professional networking tool, that you connect with anyone that you know in order to grow your network.
The more connections you make, the stronger your network becomes, she reminds students. For example, when searching a company you are interested in, see if someone you know works there. Or see if someone you know knows someone who works there. If you end up applying, you should attempt to get referrals from these relationships. If you have a referral from someone connected to the company, you are less likely to be just a number. It is never too early to start building your network!