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Paul Brassil

Paul Brassil

MS Digital Innovation (Information Technology) Class of 2001

Undergrad Bridgewater State University

Previous Employer EMC

How did Bentley help you get to where you are today in your career?

In the tech boom of the '90s, I knew I needed to learn more about IT and the intersection of business and that's how I found Bentley. At the time, I was a successful C++ programmer and I saw a lot of trends going on: programming was becoming commoditized, programmers weren't doing 'plumbing' as much anymore, they were doing more business application development and there was a trend at the time to outsource. As I looked at my career path, I knew I wanted to go into IT leadership - to take my career to the next level. I needed to understand the important questions: What is IT finance? What is leadership in IT? What does an IT programmer do? What is structure? What is “requirements gathering?" When I decided to go to graduate school, I knew I wanted a program that focused on the business of IT and Bentley was the only choice. It still continues to be the only choice for the right combination of IT and business.

What are the top three skills you gained in your program at Bentley?

  • The Business of IT: In one of my classes, a systems analysis and design course, we came back to "What is the business of IT?" IT isn't just writing code and colors, you have to build a foundation for a product, and in order to build a product, you need to have the customer buy-in, a road map, and a proper cost structure. It helped me to better understand and run a business. We need to know what the customer wants and always keep them in mind.
  • Leadership: During my time at Bentley, we had guest speakers come in all the time, and I remember a speaker telling us, "a CIO can be right, or a CIO can be wrong, but a CIO must be decisive." When it comes to effective leadership, you need to collect as much feedback from a leadership team as you can, examine what the customer wants and make decisions.
  • Communication: In technology, you can never communicate too much. Since so much of tech happens behind the scenes, it’s important to always let the customer know what’s going on, why there may be a delay, and what they can expect going forward.
"I left prepared for the future of business."

What would you tell someone considering your program at Bentley?

I have an employee who asked me what he should pursue a graduate degree in, and where, and he's now enrolled in the Bentley program. In the future, all companies are tech companies, without exception, whatever field you pursue, so your master's in IT will give you the foundation to use technology and advance your company. You can't go wrong with an IT background right now. Disruptive technology is always changing the landscape of business so you have to be educated in order to make an impact, whatever field you pursue in the future. Bentley does a great job serving working professionals. Bentley structured a program that complemented my work schedule and made it easy to complete my classes that I needed to. It's important to balance a professional career and coursework but with Bentley, it was easy to do this.