Five Tips for Career Success from Deputy CIO Diane Dagefoerde


“Lead from where you are,” was the theme of the first virtual conference sponsored by the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Women in IT (WIT) peer group last month.

The conference included four female panelists from BTAA universities at difference stages in their IT careers, as well as two keynotes from Ana Hunsinger of Internet2 and Maureen Biggers of Indiana University. 

Career panel speakers discussed personal stories, challenges, and triumphs in IT. Ohio State’s Deputy CIO, DianeDagefoerde, shared her five tips for career success.

1. Recognize Pivotal Moments

Do you have goals? Dagefoerde addressed the importance of recognizing pivotal moments in your career because some are “path-defining” and help kickstart a career, while others are “path- accelerating,” and help gain visibility. “I track my goals in a spreadsheet, I check in every year, every month, every day…having goals makes it easier to recognize pivotal moments when they present themselves,” said Dagefoerde. 

2. Think like an Entrepreneur 

Figure out who your customers are and what problems they have, usually there are two customers: end users and stakeholders. “Their word-of-mouth will elevate you,” so conduct experiments and explore solutions.

3. Take Risks

“It only takes 20 seconds of courage,” Dagefoerde said, as she discussed when to takes risks that will positively progress your career.

4. Get a Champion to Help You

How many doors have you opened for others? We all need help at times. When the moment arises, you will need recommendations or someone to “pull you through the glass ceiling.” 

5. Grow Yourself

If you want the promotion or new project, you have to be promotion worthy. “Always be working on another skill: sales, recruiting, leadership or productivity.”

Over 600 attendees tuned in to learn these tips on career progression and engage in a dialogue surrounding the current state of women in IT. For more information about the BTAA WIT Peer Group or the next virtual conference, contact Stephanie Orr.