The Seidenberg Tech Leadership Series wrapped up with Qlik CEO, Mike Capone

The Seidenberg School of CSIS held its last event for the Tech Leadership series of the spring semester on April 24 during common hour. The speaking event, moderated by Dean Dr. Jonathan Hill, featured Mike Capone, CEO of Qlik. The event took place at 1 Pace Plaza in the new Student Center.

The talk centered around privacy, data analytics, and more. Dr. Hill took time to highlight what he called Mike’s “groundbreaking journey from CIO to CEO.”

Mike obtained his MBA in Finance from Pace University after earning his undergraduate degree in Computer Science at Dickinson College. His career started at ADP where he spent 26 years moving up from the role of VP to CIO. After ADP, he moved on to the role of COO at Medidata Solutions, before landing his current position as CEO of Qlik.

Mike told us that he originally wanted to pursue a major in history, it was his Dad who inspired him to focus on technology.

“My father was one of the first CIO’s ever,” he stated. “He wanted me to study something that would make me employable.”

Mike decided on a major in computer science with a minor in history, allowing him to study the best of both worlds. After obtaining his undergraduate and graduate degrees, he went on to work at ADP.

“That first job is important, but you have to remember it’s just your first job,” he explained. “You’re going to learn and evolve at your first job.”

While working at ADP, Mike gained skills crucial to the rest of his career. It was during his first years of employment that he learned the key to becoming CEO material: getting out of your comfort zone.

“You’ve got to take risks, you got to do different stuff,” he said. “Every time something new came up I would grab it. I was never really good at programming. The important thing was that I recognized it. Taking tech and applying it to real business problems was super interesting to me.”

Mike relayed these key words of advice and offered up numerous others:

  • “Learn statistics.”
  • “Data is changing the world … [and] everybody needs to be aware.”
  • “Get into a global company.”
  • “Networking is super, super important.”
  • “When you change jobs make sure it’s not just a financial thing.”
  • “Expand [your] portfolio, and follow your interests.”

As for motivation? Mike explained that his way of staying focused is to always keep his eyes on the prize. While his interests initially lay in history, he learned to adapt his education to include a major that would make him more employable. This choice led him to become a CIO and eventually a CEO.

“I didn’t wake up saying ‘oh my gosh I want to be CIO,” Mike explained. “You can be whatever you want to be. In tomorrow’s world, you need to be super well-rounded.”

Mike gave Seidenberg students motivation and advice to give them the confidence to make future career choices. His leadership series talk was chock full of advice and inspiration for students who are just starting their own careers. We are grateful for the time Mike spent with us and are honored to have had him finish the series for the year.

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Author: Brianna Adkins

Brianna Adkins is a sophomore Communication Studies major at Pace University. She's currently a Content Writer for the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems and the Editor-in-chief of Pretty Smart magazine. Her passion is writing and highlighting people who have stories that need to be heard.

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