What factors led you to decide to attend Hudson County Community College?
I started my freshman year at Rutgers University but I was ill-equipped to deal with the pressures of a four-year university. To get a new start, I transferred to HCCC.
What is your favorite memory of the College, in or out of the classroom?
6-9 programming classes with Professor Sid¬diqui. I learned to do amazing things in that class. Every moment was a thrilling experience full of learning and awe.
How did you become interested in computer science?
As a kid, I saw Live Free or Die Hard and saw what hackers could do if you really knew your way around computers. I dreamed of being a CS major since.
How did your time at HCCC prepare you for your career/ life now?
I gathered most of my skill sets in the aforemen¬tioned classes I took with Professor Siddiqui. I spent a year and a half learning the core concepts of how computers operate.
What is a typical workday for you?
I work in a company that provides 24/7 service primarily to financial companies such as wealth managers and accounting firms. We host all their information and applications in our secure data centers and ensure that it meets all the security and compliance protocols as required by the governing bodies. The day begins with handoff calls from teams in Europe and ends with hand off calls to teams in Australia. The rest of the day comprises working on short-term break fixes to patch issues in our product, work with third-party vendors to troubleshoot issues on behalf of our clients as tickets come in. Simultaneously, I work on long-term projects that can involve a multitude of OKRs and goals.
What has been the most memorable project/case you have worked on?
Identifying a bug in Windows File Servers 2016 and reporting it to Microsoft with the proposed fix.
Who are your biggest inspirations that have impacted your work in some way?
I have been very fortunate to have worked un¬der team leads gifted with a rigorous work ethic and knowledge. It has instilled in me the same work ethic and critical thinking needed to succeed as a Systems Engineer.
What advice would you give to recent HCCC graduates?
Be patient. It’s hard to get your foot in the door. Don’t be scared of rejection and never think you don’t have a chance, whether it’s getting into a four-year institution or landing your dream job.
What advice do you have for those students who are just starting their college careers?
Follow your passion. It makes it easy to get out of bed every day and the work day flies. While learning the ropes around a new place, unconventional hours need to be put in and as long as you’re doing what you love, it’ll be a walk in the park.