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Business Graduates

Daniel S. Sklar, PMP

What I do now:
Currently, I provide strategic consulting for all types of organizations and perform Independent Verification & Validation (IV&V) on large, complex business/IT projects for federal and state governments.

My work/job consists of:
IV&V includes observing meetings, reviewing and assessing project artifacts, and presenting findings and recommendations to state agency leaders and the federal government. This is all done to help increase the likelihood of a successful project through independent oversight.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
I worked for two large companies my first twenty years after graduation: KPMG in IT consulting for 9 years and Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. in IT management for 11 years. Each company was the world's largest in its industry. Since 2006, I have been an independent consultant leading a variety of strategic planning, IT, and IV&V oversight projects.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
I grew up less than two miles from the campus, and my oldest brother graduated from LSUS, so I was familiar with the university. Going to LSUS allowed me to stay home, save expenses, and focus on academics.

Fond memories of LSUS:
I enjoy learning. I never wanted to miss a class, and if I did, I had my mom attend in my absence and tape the class! I was also very active in extracurricular activities: debate team (two years), senator in SGA, president of three clubs (Computer Science, Accounting, Omicron Delta Kappa), and participation in several intramural events.

LSUS faculty who helped me:
Two to mention were Dr. Frank Lower and Dr. Terrence Clauretie. Dr. Lower was the debate team coach and gave me the opportunity to participate in debate and individual speaking events. Dr. Clauretie gave me the opportunity to develop software to perform statistical analysis on adjustable rate mortgages and co-publish the analysis.

How LSUS helped me succeed:
LSUS gave me opportunities to learn, practice, and improve. The debate team experience made me a much better communicator and public speaker. The opportunities as club presidents and SGA senator gave me lessons on how to lead. The college courses gave me opportunities to improve my technical knowledge in accounting and computer science.

Advice to college-bound students:
Get the most out of college. It is not (only) about the diploma. It is about growing as a person: your knowledge, your skills, your abilities, your experiences, your relationships. College should give you a safe environment to progress in all of those.

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:
The technical aspects are the easier parts to learn. Areas that are missing in many people are good communication skills (both written and verbal), good thinking skills, and good interpersonal skills. Round it out with quality work, a role-up-your-sleeves attitude, attention to detail, and integrity.

Tips on choosing a major or career:
I would recommend a combination of something that interests you and a field that is growing. Make sure to focus on building your soft skills, because those skills can be applied in almost every career. A solid foundation can carry you forward if or when you change careers.

My toughest professional challenge:
Politics.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
I was honored in 2001 with the Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) IT Employee of the Year Award and in 2005 with the CCE John Santagata Leadership of the Year Award. I think having enjoyed what I have done professionally for over 30 years is an example of success. Also, becoming a better person year after year, both inwards toward myself and outward toward others.

I've learned this from life:
I have a credo and path for anyone who wants a better life: LRN LAF LUV LIV for LYF. (Bonus points: Find the brick with the credo on the LSUS campus.) If you are interested in the details, you can learn more at LearnLaughLoveLive.com

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world:
I would be sharing LRN LAF LUV LIV and the Philosophy for LYF to everyone, young and old, all over the world.

 
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