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Why Seasoned Professionals are Returning to School to Replace the 'Old Heroes'

Companies often consider the same circulation of seasoned professionals when a C-suite position opens. This pattern makes it harder for a newer generation to get a seat at the C-suite table.

“We're running out of the old heroes and the need for a more technically savvy generation is imperative to future success,” said Dr. Arthur Langer, academic director of the Master's in Technology Management program at Columbia University's School of Professional Studies.

Vicki Hildebrand, an alumni of the Technology Management program, worked to become a CIO during her entire career. She now holds that position with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

One of Hildebrand’s previous experiences includes acting as HPE’s Vice President of Customers and Partner Advocacy. At HPE, she worked with Steve Bandrowczak, then Senior Vice President of Global Business and Services. He was one of 245 mentors in the Technology Management program at Columbia and introduced Hildebrand to the program.

With Bandrowzcak as her mentor, Hildebrand graduated from the 16-month program in 2016. She took on her first CIO role at the Department of Transportation in 2017 and her second at Blue Cross Blue Shield in 2019.

Seeing Hildebrand’s success firsthand, Bandrowczak soon followed and entered the program as a student. He graduated this year and is now the President and Chief Operations Officer at Xerox.

Read the full story at CIO Dive and learn more about the M.S. in Technology Management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.