Valerie Cimarossa is a higher education technology professional. Through her work and education, she has developed a strong focus on leadership, technology and efficiency, plus she’s a Mom to a beautiful yet persnickety Dalmatian. Valerie (Val) is one to watch in Phoenix’s up-and-coming women in tech. A Valley Leadership Alumni and heavily involved in the community, Val has helped bring significant tech advances to many organizations, including the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.
Val successfully wields many tools in her role at the University of Advancing Technology. She manages UAT’s Technology, Marketing and Campus Facilities, and as Chief of Staff, has broad responsibilities for the leadership of UAT and its special projects.
Her passions are swimming, trail running and sunshine; but also, people, organizational execution and mostly, the identification and development of a company’s distinct culture.
Val shares her expertise with industry through her consulting company Dum Spero, LLC.
Tell us about your first job in tech. Who did you work for, what was your role, and what excited you about the work you did?
My first technology job was as the project manager for the IT department at University of Advancing Technology. Over the course of two years I have grown and learned, and am now the Technology Director for the University. What excites me is that as a business major whose day job is people management, I am able to drive people to emphasize the human element of the day-to-day operations at this tech-centric university.
Describe your job in technology today.
As the Technology Director at UAT, I work to ensure that our students have access to the technology they need to be successful while earning their degrees. This includes constant research (alongside our education team) about the latest and greatest hardware and software available to them, tech trends and industry needs. Beyond that, it’s all installation, implementation, team development and customer service!
What do you love most about working in the tech world?
What I love most about working in the tech world is constantly being exposed to and blown away by new things that are a perfect demonstration of how impressive, and sometimes frightening, the human race is.
What do you believe is the biggest hurdle women face in pursuing a career in technology?
Lack of exposure. We need technology, and all STEM topics, to be a regular part of learning for young women from day one. By the time women find out that a career in technology is a possibility, it’s often too late.
Who in the tech field inspires you and why?
Heidi Jannenga because she’s a badass tech executive changing the industry for women.
If you could give advice to other girls in tech, what would it be?
Surround yourself with people who are supportive and push you. Don’t shy away from being a female presence at the table – you are powerful and they need you.
To learn more about Valerie Cimarossa, visit her LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @UATval. Be sure to subscribe to our email, so you can get the latest and greatest of Girls in Tech PHX straight to your inbox!