Retired ISV and Developer Relations Executive IBM B.S.B.A. with an emphasis in MIS, 1979
Ray Creely is currently the Developer Relations Executive for IBM’s Global Technology Unit with responsibilities for the Communication Sector and Security. He has over 30 years experience in information technology and has expertise in solution design and development, project management and systems integration. As the Developer Relations Executive, Ray works with Israeli based technology companies to provide a variety of industry and security based solutions to clients globally. In the US, he has worked with both the Atlanta Israeli Chamber of Commerce and the California Israeli Chamber of Commerce to explore opportunities.
Mr. Creely received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Missouri, St Louis. He has continued his education within IBM through a variety of programs including the Harvard Business School.
Ray is an active member of Washington University’s Center for the Advancement of In-formation Technology (CAIT). He is working with the St. Louis School District and UMSL’s Center for International Studies in developing a high school international business curriculum.
He is a mentor at Soldan International Studies High School and he also has served as a Scout-master for the Boy Scouts of America where he supports the local community in developing future leaders.
We sat down with Ray and asked him some questions.
Why did you decide to come to UMSL?
Since I was personally paying for my education and working full time, UMSL was the best value and location for me.
Why did you pursue a career in information systems?
I had a background in electronics and recognized the expanding opportunities in IS.
What college classes did you find most useful to your career?
Tying my business classes to IS classes allowed me to better understand how my programs were addressing business problems.
If you were in college today, what courses would you take?
Bio-Engineering, Nano Technology and Anthropology. (Connecting the future and the past)
How did you continue your education after your first degree?
IBM has provided me with many opportunities to stay current and position me for new assignments. Everything from my early days of CICS Macro programming classes to a more recent Harvard Business School Program that allowed me to better understand international business consulting.
How did you find your first job?
Attending college during the day, I worked as a janitor in the evening at an office building. One person often worked late and we frequently talked. She referred me to a friend. I was hired shortly after as a COBOL programmer. I then switched to UMSL evening classes.
In what non-academic activities did you participate in college that you would recommend to others (and why)?
I worked full time and took a full load at UMSL. Sleep was the only non-academic activity I found time to participate. This is what I missed most in College. I would recommend exposing yourself in an activity outside your field of study.
How would you change your career if you had it to do all over again?
I have so much to be thankful for, I would hesitate to change anything.
What advice would you give to someone just starting in the field?
Communication skills are key to success. Look for opportunities to network. Look for opportunities that are challenging and FUN. Don't wait for them to come to you.
Look into your crystal ball. What do you see changing in the IS field in the future?
Just looking at the gaming and medical industries as the crystal ball, I see smaller and faster devices with more complex applications virtually everywhere.