The Fast Track To Technical Leadership: Meet Nina Kazarov 

technical leadership infographicIn just seven months, Nina Kazarov learned how to be an effective technical leader.

Kazarov, a financial analyst who is transitioning into management at her employer, recently graduated from the Technical Leadership Certificate program. The certificate, offered by UW-Madison Engineering Professional Development, can be completed by any technical professional looking to get a competitive advantage.

“I was really interested in this certificate because it is a hybrid of the business and engineering schools,” she said. “It allowed me to view things in different ways and network with people of many different types of roles.”

She also learned that it’s never too early to acquire leadership skills.

“I was nervous about my limited experience in management because I feared that I might have trouble relating to the classroom discussion, but I was reassured by the other adult students–who have been leaders for decades–that the benefit of learning the skill early on is incredibly beneficial,” she said. “I have applied the skills to many situations from updating process flow to effectively interviewing and providing feedback.”

Kazarov found out about the certificate because her manager was actually interested in completing it at one time.

“My senior manager mentioned it to me as something he had once considered and I was immediately interested,” she said.

She signed up to complete the certificate and planned out her courses—along with three iterations of her planned schedule for her manager to approve.  He did, and supported her travel to Madison from Illinois to take courses.

“He was always interested in what I learned from each course I completed,” Kazarov said. “I have a designated drawer at my desk with all the materials I received from each course, which I can refer back to whenever a situation might benefit from it.”

And while Kazarov initially felt the courses might be a challenge, the real challenge was actually narrowing down her courses down to six.

“I would tell anyone that is interested in a course or has taken a course that is eligible for this certificate that they should pursue it,” she said. “It is really easy to find six interesting courses that are applicable to most work situations and the flexibility of the program is a great benefit.”

For more information about the program, click here.

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