Tag Archives: alumni corner

Alumni Corner – Interview with Matt Vartanian

MattVartanian

We recently interviewed alumnus Matt Vartanian. Here’s what he had to say about his time before and after graduating from UNH Manchester!

Where do you work?

I am a Network Engineer at Philips Healthcare in Andover, Massachusetts. I work on a team that creates specifications for hospital networks running Philips patient monitoring devices. We validate and verify a wide variety of configurations for networks that carry real-time physiological patient data.

What do you like about your job?

I enjoy problem solving, and there is plenty of opportunity for that at my job! While I have key objectives and projects to focus on, I also have the freedom to think independently and focus on areas in our systems that I think need attention. However, I think the most rewarding part of my job is realizing that the documentation and consulting provided by my group improves the lives of patients in hospitals all over the world!

What advice do you have for current CIS majors?

Study hard! The curriculum at UNHM is excellently designed for providing a well-rounded platform from which to start. You increase your value to a company by maintaining a wide variety of skills. At my job, I have used skills I learned from courses focused on databases, object oriented programming, excel spreadsheets, and networking concepts. When you graduate with knowledge of the basics of software engineering, database management, computer networking and administration, you can apply for entry level positions in any one of them, and choose your focus later.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In a couple of years, I expect to become a Senior Network Engineer for Philips. This comes with greater responsibility and I expect to take on more challenging and exciting work during the years to come.

Was there anything you wish you had done?

I wish I had made time for math and basic electronics classes to supplement my CIS courses. Maybe I’ll return someday!

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Alumni Corner — Interview with Alumnus Bethany Ross

Bethany, center-right, having fun with coworkers at her new job.

We asked Bethany Ross, an alumnus from the UNH Manchester CIS program, a few questions about her new job and her time spent at UNH Manchester!
Where do you work?
I am an eCommerce Support Representative at Dyn (Dynamic Network Services) in Manchester, NH. I provide technical support to close to half a million home users and small businesses with a specialization in billing and abuse.
What do you like about your job?
The environment at Dyn is unlike any other place I have worked. I get to wear jeans and tee shirts to work and play foosball. Another aspect that I love about my job is that I seem to learn something new everyday. It’s crazy to me that I spend 40 hours a week doing something that was a focus of only an hour of one of my CIS classes.
What advice do you have for current CIS majors?
Try everything and get involved! When I was a freshman I would have never seen myself doing what I do now, but I enjoy it. Also take classes in departments that aren’t CIS, you’ll learn things that are helpful in any field such as communication skills.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself in a supervisory role doing something in the IT field. Hopefully I’ll be finishing a master’s degree by then too!
Was there anything you wish you had done? 
I wish I had gotten involved as an Orientation Leader earlier. I became an Orientation Leader partly to overcome my fear of talking to large groups of people that I didn’t know. Let me tell you, talking to 40 new students with all eyes on you is a quick way to overcome it. I also met faculty and students I would not have met other ways.
We like to stay connected with our alumni and get them involved with our community. How would you like to stay involved and share your professional knowledge and expertise with us?
I really enjoyed when former students came in and talked to current students, I would love to do that. Interesting part of that is, when I met with one former student in the Internship Experience class, she was actually working in the department at Dyn where I work in now. I would also like to get involved in anything that gets more young girls involved in technology, there is such a gender gap in the field. I was the only woman that graduated with a BS in CIS in May 2012, I would love to see that never happen again!

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Alumni Corner – Interview with John Grossmith

We recently interviewed alumnus John Grossmith. Here’s what he had to say about his time before and after graduating from UNH Manchester!

Where do you work?
I currently work at Oracle as a Sales Consultant (Technical Engineer). Basically my job is to talk with companies of all sizes about their existing hardware infrastructure and come up with a solution to better their performance, efficiency,  etc.
What do you like about your job?
The best part of my job is the interaction with powerful executives in the business world. This job is about knowing a lot of technical details regarding hardware components, networking, as well as how databases are integrated with their existing software. But, it has a social aspect that I hadn’t seen outside of sales. So I am able to build my network as well as still being involved in the IT field.
What advice do you have for current CIS majors?
As far as the best advice I can give from my perspective is for CIS majors to take classes that involve giving presentations and working on speaking to groups of people. I have come to realize with my job as a sales consultant I speak with Programmers, DBAs, and Chief Information Officers, and the common theme is being confident to present either proposals, ideas, or just have a conversation with them. I would give a lot of credit to my success with Oracle to Mihaela’s courses as well as Professor Kilcrease’s Business courses.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I still see myself at Oracle hopefully as a Staff Sales Consultant. The benefit of a large corporation is there are offices around the world so I am hoping to at least visit or spend time in some of the Offices in England or South America.
What was your favorite part about being a CIS major?
It was paying for brand new books every semester. I liked the professors, I found that the CIS program at UNH Manchester has some of the best and most supportive professors. I also enjoyed the variety of course provided, whether you found more enjoyment from programming or just loved to sink your teeth into databases the CIS major accommodated.
Was there anything you wish you had done?
I wish I didn’t work full time while going to school full-time. I didn’t get to be involved in the numerous clubs and activities that UNHM had to offer. There were many events that I would have loved to attend but I was limited by how many hours were in the day. I would say take advantage of the job fairs and the events because from personal experience your network is your networth. So, going to events and getting your name out there benefits you tremendously and will prepare you guys for a life in the corporate or business side of CIS.
We like to stay connected with our alumni and get them involved with our community. How would you like to stay involved and share your professional knowledge and expertise with us?
As Mihaela knows my best experience with the CIS program was seeing former UNHM graduates come in and give their first hand experiences with the interview process as well as what to expect from a job working in IT or working with IT professionals. I still remember the graduates explaining how nervous they were and it made the process of finding a job outside of school less daunting. I am willing to come in and speak with you guys, answer any questions you may have. Mihaela has my email as do you so if you need anything feel free to reach out.

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Alumni Corner – Interview with Alumnus Dan Pepin

Dan Pepin

We contacted an alumnus from the UNH Manchester CIS program and asked him a few questions.

Where do you work?

Digital Bungalow in Salem, Mass. It is a web development agency, focusing on building websites in PHP and Drupal.
What do you like about your job?
It’s a great place to work because of the amount of freedom I have to share my ideas, and everyone is great to work with. I find that working with the right people is really what makes or breaks a job, and I love the people I work with.
Also, Digital Bungalow is a fairly small company, so getting your ideas heard is quite easy, and when you complete a project, you really feel that you contributed to the company.
(DB is always looking for good talent to hire and to intern)
What advice do you have for current CIS majors?
1) Mass has a lot of CIS related opportunities but is much more expensive to live in than NH. If you can, try to stay in NH.
2) Boost your resume. Education is good for getting a job, but most employers like to see some personal projects you have been working on. Create a GitHub repo, build a website, write a blog, etc…
3) Get your resume on Monster and other similar websites. I had many recruiters contacting me about open positions. Recruiters are great because they do the searching for you.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
No idea. I could still be working at Digital Bungalow, or I may move between 2 or 3 more companies. I am a fluid person who likes to embrace new and exciting opportunities.
What was your favorite part about being a CIS major?
CIS is a great major to earn in today’s technological world. There are many, many job opportunities out there. Honestly, I had no trouble finding a job.
Was there anything you wish you had done? 
More programming. The CIS curriculum I was in had PHP for a web programming language, but it would have been great to dive into Ruby, Python, Go, Perl, Java, ASP.NET, and others…
We like to stay connected with our alumni and get them involved with our community. How would you like to stay involved and share your professional knowledge and expertise with us?
Honestly, I would consider an adjunct faculty position after spending some time working, and only if I moved back to NH. I could certainty teach an advanced web development course focusing on PHP, Drupal, CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

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