SAGE Global Tech Guru Speaks to IT Students

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Data and technology, two global industries in which students have extreme interest were highlighted recently when Babar Jan-Haleem, an international speaker who heads the Australia/Pacific/Japan/China Emerging Technologies and Intelligent Platforms for Amazon Web Services (AWS), spoke to Valencia students. With more than 20 years of experience in IT and data, he has been the driving force for customer adoption of emerging technologies in the Asian Pacific region. His portfolio stretches across many services, including machine learning, the internet of things, big data, blockchain and more.

Jan-Haleem was brought to Valencia through the efforts of two East Campus IT professors, Jerry Hensel, computer programming and analysis, and Heith Hennel, IT and computer programming, who collaborated with the Study Abroad and Global Experience (SAGE) and Student Development offices to host this IT interactive experience. The event was held on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, and was attended by IT students from all campuses.

Babar’s philosophy is to convince students that data is an incredibly valuable tool. During his virtual presentation, he highlighted how data drives decision-making every day and at all levels. Decision makers in an organization, from the CEO down to frontline workers, use data to stay competitive and relevant in the market. One example he shared with students is how AWS can track products being purchased at an Amazon Go store in order to evaluate consumer shopping habits and needs. This form of strategic data collection and analysis is relatively new, so students were able to hear about cutting edge and innovative practices in data collection.

“This was such an exciting opportunity for students, and they were able to learn from a technology guru on what it takes to get a job in the IT field,” said Jerry. “Students were excited to get the chance to ask Babar questions about the role of data collection in the IT field, as well as how to break into the industry. Students walked away knowing the importance of leveraging data as fuel for innovation.”

The session exposed students to the different AWS industry certifications available, all of which can be applied to real-world problem solving. Starting in spring 2021, students will be able to take AWS certification classes through the Valencia-AWS Learning Academy. For more details about the Valencia AWS courses, please contact Jerry at

Global guest speakers are a new offering by SAGE to internationalize the curriculum at home during this time of limited student mobility. Faculty who are interested in booking a global guest speaker for their students through the SAGE Office can contact Manager of Study Abroad Programs Lindi Kourtellis at

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