Manager and IT Consultant
Donna L. Shank, manager and IT consultant at multinational consulting company Capgemini, did not follow a traditional path to her technology career. In college she studied political science and psychology before pursuing both a law degree and a Masters in Business Administration. After a business associate encouraged Shank to apply her analytical skills to a career in technology, she began her transition into an exciting new field.
“What has surprised me the most is my ability to understand the complexities and all of the moving parts that must come together to build a fully functional system,” Shank said. “When I practiced law, a key component of my role was deeply rooted in decision analysis and information. These same skills have been used to ensure my success in the IT field.”
As an IT consultant, Shank frequently encounters businesses resistant to the change that comes with learning new technology. System implementations typically last 10-12 months, a process she describes as “typically painful for all involved.” As Shank and her team progress toward deploying a new system, she witnesses business users move from resistance to excitement.
“This transition from confusion and frustration to clarity is what I love most about my job,” Shank said.
Shank was a single mother at the time, tasked with juggling a career and successful parenting. Despite the challenges that came with parenting and a demanding career, she is proud of her growth and development along her professional journey. She stresses that the ability to accept change and excel is the key to success.
“Various types of change have allowed me to seek out different professional opportunities and not be paralyzed by the challenges that they present,” Shank said.
As a woman in technology, Shank acknowledges that the field is predominately male. However, she encourages other women to pursue STEM careers and leave their mark on the industry. She hopes that women from a variety of industries will bring their skillsets to a career in technology.
“I wish people knew that it doesn’t take a degree in computer science to excel in technology,” Shank said. “What it takes is the ability to think through issues and propose viable solutions. These characteristics are inherent in many other career fields and can be used to lay the groundwork for a career in IT.”
Outside of work, Shank enjoys traveling, exploring new cuisines and spending time with her now-grown children and husband of 3 years. She loves that a career in IT has allowed her to explore and learn about many different cultures. She is currently serving on the CEWiT Alumnae Advisory Board.