The last day of the year 2015 had a special treat in store for the students of SCMS Cochin School of Business. They had the privilege of listening to Mr. Jojo Williams, Manager - Operational Systems (I.T), Kuwait Airways. He brought it to the table at the industry interface session held on the 31st of December as he offered insights on the functions of the airline industry, career opportunities for managers in IT and all that’s needed for successful Project Management.
Mr. Williams opened the session by giving the curious students a peek into the often mystical Airline industry. According to him, in spite of the high stress levels involved, it is a glamorous industry that has a lot of exciting prospects. He then highlighted the challenges he faced when he said, "The challenges and issues are with people, and we face them on a regular basis. These challenges could be on various levels and test your true caliber as a manager. You need to be able to handle them sensitively and intelligently."
Mr. Williams believes that the changes in the IT sector have brought about a major transformation in the Airline industry as well. Those who want to work in IT should pick a specific domain and become experts in it. His helpful advice to the students was, "If you can do your specialization along with your career, you will start reaping fantastic results for it. As far as the IT industry is concerned, you can start at a lower level but you will have opportunities to scale up your career. It's important to spot them and grab them with both hands."
There is a lot of talk in the industry about IT trained managers and how they can thrive in different roles at various levels. Mr. Williams agreed with this notion and offered reasons for it: "All professionals should have domain experience and theoretical knowledge, which PGDM holders do. It’s valuable in the airline industry because most of the equipment is digitalized and managers should have basic knowledge about the latest in IT." That was extremely valuable advice for those who aspire to work in the field.
Finally, Mr. Williams focused on the topic of Project Management by offering examples from Qatar Airways – this kept things relatable for students. He shared secrets about the functioning of his organization that receives huge amounts of data on a regular basis. “Managers in the industry should have an idea about critical topics as well as field experience,” he said. “It helps you not only with your own career but drives the project to fruition as well. India has high career growth than any other country and there are tremendous opportunities for you.” These concluding words struck a chord with students, and they left the event more knowledgeable, energized, and optimistic about future opportunities in IT.