Off the Beaten Path: Laura Marble’s Journey to Becoming a Leader in Information Technology
Laura Marble, Interim Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, has always had a passion for language. Earning undergraduate degrees in French and Spanish with a minor in Business from Alma College, never did she think her career path would take her from “Parlez-vous Français?” to “Password Authentication Protocol.” However, a tight job market caused her to traverse a completely different career path that led her to IT.
As she states, “In any career, as much as you plan or have a vision for what you want to do, life serves up opportunities and you have to take them.”
“One of the things I found was that my language skills could be used in coding and problem solving since they activate the brain in the same way it is engaged in information technology,” says Marble. In fact, her non-traditional background helped her obtain her first job with a health care IT company. She recognized that different points of view that could offer solutions, even having the opportunity to work alongside a music major with symphony experience.
While a background in computer science or information technology is valuable, this ever-evolving industry is always looking for new points of view.
For example, liberal arts majors are seeing there is great opportunity available to them in the IT sector. Many tech employers are looking to liberal arts majors for their alternative approach to everyday processes. Being one of Michigan’s largest IT employers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan recognizes the value of educational diversity and encourages candidates with aligning skill sets to apply at MIBlueTech.com.
“IT is a very changing industry. You can always teach someone the latest technology, but certain innate abilities like problem solving are what makes one successful in IT,” says Marble. There’s a certain value in coming into information technology without the IT background. “I’ve seen many people come from nontraditional career paths into IT utilizing the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in different backgrounds,” she states.
In the end, witnessing the success of other IT professionals is its own reward for Laura. “Seeing the careers of new college graduates, or those new in their careers and IT…if they take their first steps and become successful in their own right, that makes me really proud,” says Marble. “I really feel like I’ve contributed when I can grow more IT professionals and professionals for Blue Cross.”
For more information on careers in Blue Cross IT, visit these blogs: