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T. Rowe Price executive talks tech to ISDS students

Steve Sullivan speaking to ISDS students

When Steve Sullivan joined T. Rowe Price in 1987, he worked in a small department -- about 40 people in a firm of about 400.

Now, Sullivan heads T. Rowe Price's Global Technology Services Division of more than 500 associates working globally, and the jobs in his division are some of the most critical roles in the company. He spoke to a group of students in USF's Information Systems Decision Sciences Department about his role with the company and his professional advice as part of the department's new speaker series.

ISDS Department Chair Balaji Padmanabhan told the students that the goal of the speaker series was to bring in leaders from the tech field as well as young professionals in order to give students a well-rounded view of their career options.

"One thing that you take out of here could change your career," he said.

Sullivan told students that the T. Rowe Price value of integrity was more than just a word thrown around by executives. He gave the example of avoiding the dot-com bubble and subprime mortgage crisis that took down so many other companies in the financial sector.

Steve Sullivan

"It really is the long-term view," Sullivan said. "We believe if we serve the clients well, we will be served well."

He spoke extensively about the role of Global Technology Services within the company, which provides infrastructure, architecture and application management services. He mentioned a "smart-video" technology that T. Rowe Price is looking into to use data to personalize video and create engaging content for users.

Students asked Sullivan what skills he recommended they develop, and he suggested financial planning capabilities and strong higher math skills. He also emphasized interviewing and interpersonal abilities, with those skills being the ones that set interviewees apart from other qualified candidates.

Sullivan noted the explosive growth of the cybersecurity sector -- with about 2.5 million unfilled jobs in the industry.

"It's a 24-hour, seven days a week job," he said, noting that not everyone wants that responsibility in a career. "We call people at four in the morning a lot."