Hispanic Career World Summer/Fall 2015 : Page 34
C omputer Science The Right Bit Computer science graduates are in demand for this high-growth field Late last year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a nonprofit that connects college career placement of-fices with employers, asked its members what degrees were in the highest demand. Computer science came in at the No. 3 spot. “The numbers, from a percentage standpoint, have been going the wrong way. The number of [computer science] graduates is going down. It’s a big challenge for us, but a great opportunity for you,” says Fernando Moya, solutions software development manager at Lexmark. Here, Moya and fellow professionals share what they love about working in the computer science sector and how to best take advantage of career opportunities. BY AMANDA N. WEGNER Part Of The Team At Texas Instruments Carlos Solas is at the heart of IT at TI. “Being in the IT Op-erations organization, we’re the heart of IT serv-ices,” says Solas, storage administrator for the En-me to conduct research and find a good solu-tion for TI. It was fulfill-ing to go through the entire process,” he says. Solas’ full-time job at TI is his first after graduating from Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, FL. “A terprise Storage Team, a part of IT Op-erations at Texas Instruments (TI). “We support all databases and servers.” Solas performs storage-related projects and spends time on run/maintain activities. He recently worked with a network sup-plier to find a suitable replacement plat-form for TI’s aging fleet of SAN switches. “I really liked the idea of identify-ing the best replacement option for the switches and the project allowed friend at FIU interned at TI in Dallas (TI headquarters) one summer and joined TI after graduating. We kept in touch, and I knew he really liked the company, so I applied and interviewed.” As an early career professional — Solas has been with TI for almost three years — he appreciates TI’s benefits and friendly culture. “Coming in as a new graduate, there were a lot of groups and organ-izations to support you.” One group Carlos Solas, Storage Administrator, Texas Instruments Hispanic Career World 34 S u m m e r / Fa l l 2 0 1 5
The Right Bit
Amanda N. Wegner
Computer science graduates are in demand for this high-growth field
Late last year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a nonprofit that connects college career placement offices with employers, asked its members what degrees were in the highest demand.
Computer science came in at the No. 3 spot.
“The numbers, from a percentage standpoint, have been going the wrong way. The number of [computer science] graduates is going down. It’s a big challenge for us, but a great opportunity for you,” says Fernando Moya, solutions software development manager at Lexmark.
Here, Moya and fellow professionals share what they love about working in the computer science sector and how to best take advantage of career opportunities.
Part Of The Team At Texas Instruments
Carlos Solas is at the heart of IT at TI.
“Being in the IT Operations organization, we’re the heart of IT services,” says Solas, storage administrator for the Enterprise Storage Team, a part of IT Operations at Texas Instruments (TI). “We support all databases and servers.” Solas performs storage-related projects and spends time on run/maintain activities. He recently worked with a network supplier to find a suitable replacement platform for TI’s aging fleet of SAN switches.
“I really liked the idea of identifying the best replacement option for the switches and the project allowed me to conduct research and find a good solution for TI. It was fulfilling to go through the entire process,” he says.
Solas’ full-time job at TI is his first after graduating from Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, FL. “A friend at FIU interned at TI in Dallas (TI headquarters) one summer and joined TI after graduating. We kept in touch, and I knew he really liked the company, so I applied and interviewed.”
As an early career professional — Solas has been with TI for almost three years — he appreciates TI’s benefits and friendly culture.
“Coming in as a new graduate, there were a lot of groups and organizations to support you.” One group he participated in, the New Employee Initiative, is specifically for new hires and offers a built-in support network.
Solas also was part of Make an Impact, a one year program for recent graduates that connects new employees with peers and leaders and includes classes on technical training and how to succeed and perform well at TI. He’s also a member of HIP, a TI organization for Hispanic IT professionals that offers great opportunities for volunteering and mentoring.
All said, he loves the company’s culture.
“TI’s ethical values are very high, and the people work collaboratively as a team,” says Solas. “Within IT services we always try to support each other and help each other out. Our team is truly aligned. My manager looks out for us, to make sure we’re performing well and to answer our questions. He gives me constant feedback that helps me learn and improve.”
To get your best start in the field, Solas says an internship with a Fortune 500 company is a must.
“A Fortune 500 company offers so many opportunities to learn and prepare you once you graduate, and you get a firsthand view of where the industry is heading.”
One such activity to get that exposure is getting involved in organizations. For instance, Solas served as vice president of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the only computer science honor society in the country, “which helped me connect and grow my leadership skills.”
Finally, it’s never too early to start the job search: “Try to find a job in your field, even your first year in college,” Solas counsels.
Hooked On Microsoft
Wondering whether you should click that link? Haronid Moncivais may have already checked it for you.
“We make sure that the URLs people navigate to online aren’t malicious,” says Moncivais, software engin eer in Microsoft’s Safety Plat form Group. “If they are, then we block the URL and inform users, so they can make an informed decision on whether they want to navigate to that website or not.”
Moncivais was first drawn to computer science in high school, when she took programming as an elective.
“The thing with computer science is that it lets you be as creative as you like,” she says. “Computer science enables us to come up with incredible ideas that can reach so many people.”
Moncivais and Microsoft found each other when the aspiring computer scientist was a college freshman. Just two weeks in, she attended a career fair.
“Even though many of my classmates thought it was way too soon to begin thinking about careers, our teacher encouraged us to go, so I did. I had nothing to lose!” she says. “On the day of the fair, I had a full schedule of classes and managed to make it just as booths were beginning to close.”
While the first introduction went poorly and almost caused Moncivais to give up, she instead walked over to Microsoft.
“I was greeted with a vastly different response by the kindest recruiter ever and was even asked if I was interested in an internship program at Microsoft for beginning computer science students called the Explore Microsoft program. After the meeting, I ran to my dorm and applied online.”
After a series of interviews, Moncivais was brought on as a software development intern. She returned to Micro soft each summer, coming on fulltime after graduation.
“After that first summer I was pretty hooked,” she says. And it was all because she gave the career fair a shot despite what others thought. In fact, that’s advice she offers others.
“Even if you don’t think you will get something, go ahead and apply anyway. Let them decide if they are interested in you, don’t make that decision for them. Chances are you have a lot more to offer than you realize. And keep trying! Computer science has one of the biggest job markets available right now, so go apply and continue applying.”
Just as she did, Moncivais encourages students to get in the game early.
“Internship experience looks really good on a resume. Most students apply their third year, so getting ahead of the curve and applying in your second or first years will really give you an edge,” she says. “Having projects on the side is good, too, so even if you don’t get anything for your freshman summer, go build an app, or a rocket, or a website, or a serverside video game. Whatever it is, companies like people who are self-motivated, and projects outside of school show that you are.”
Focused On The Customer At Lexmark
Fernando Moya works to keep Lexmark’s customers happy by providing value in the technology they want and need.
“I lead the development of projects, working to keep customers happy with the value, features, and functions we offer, value they can appreciate year after year,” says Moya, solutions software development manager.
In addition to working on legacy products, Moya works on new initiatives for Lexmark, products that will arrive in customers’ hands in the next two to five years.
“My role is like that of a business manager,” says Moya. “It includes a lot of interaction, from working with customers to define what they need now and want down the road, to working with internal groups and stakeholders to uncover what’s possible.”
In the last year, Moya has been working on projects to provide better and more information to customers.
“Part of our management services is to optimize the businesses we’re working in, whether it’s retail, banking, etc., and get to understand them very well, their businesses, and processes, how they use our products, save money, and produce more value over time,” says Moya, who has been with the company for 17 years. “I’m working to deliver data to those customers so they can make better decisions about their business by understanding what’s important to them, then look for the right software and deliver that in a customized way.”
While Moya says he had the opportunity to work for IBM, Intel, and a few startups, he appreciated the people at Lexmark and the company’s vision.
“We’re passionate about what we do here,” says Moya. “We love solving problems, and when things come to us, we’re not restricted in how to solve those problems. It’s a very open environment. Lots of ideas, lots of brainstorming, all focused on the customer. The technology happens in between.” He also appreciates how the company keeps evolving.
“The company has provided an ecosystem that allows its community to be caring and passionate about the products we build,” acknowledges Moya. “When I look at where we are today and compare it to ten years ago, it’s been a phenomenal evolution and improvement.”
For students and job seekers, Moya suggests focusing on areas of technology that are of current need, which provides special opportunities to shoot for. He also suggests getting as much experience as possible, through internships and self-development, for example.
Communication skills are also critical. “In the tech industry, people are, by default, very tech-oriented, but communication is so important,” says Moya. “If you are able to engage with people, build relationships, and network, you are way ahead of the curve.”
In The Forefront At Thomson Reuters
To make a case, attorneys and other legal professionals need information. But with today’s information overload, managing all that information can be difficult.
Luckily, Denise Yusuff is here to help.
Yusuff, an eDiscovery product trainer with the Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services business, trains attorneys and legal staff on how to use Thomson Reuters document review tools for electronic discovery.
“I have been developing training content to enhance the training experience for our users. The volume of electronically stored information has increased ex ponentially and even tenured attorneys who are hesitant to use technology are recognizing the need to use a document review tool,” she says. “My work has focused on helping both new and experienced paralegals and attorneys in the field transform their workflow to incorporate these new tools.”
While Yusuff has been with the company for more than eight years, she’s been using Thomson Reuters’ signature legal product, Westlaw, since law school. Having a law degree assists Yusuff in knowing the attorney workflow, enabling her to help attorneys implement the use of technology at their firms.
“It is very exciting to see a paralegal or attorney realize they are going to save a significant amount of time by using technology,” she says. “By using technology to speed up the amount of time spent on time consuming and manual processes, they can shift their focus onto other important tasks.”
In addition, Yusuff loves working with customers to develop their skills and also to see customers integrate eDiscovery solutions into their workflow. While some challenges occur with individuals who are completely new to the electronic discovery space, “it is a great teaching opportunity to empower our customers with knowledge and connect them to the technology that can make their work easier,” she says.
In fact, she loves that Thomson Reuters is at the forefront of intelligent information. “To be a part of disseminating information and tools to help individuals in their daily work is exciting,” she comments.
Yusuff also appreciates Thomson Reuters’ efforts to embrace diversity and the company’s belief that the diversity of its employees is a strength that can foster innovation.
That innovation will be important, in the legal technology field and beyond.
“Specifically in my field, the amount of electronic discovery being handled by attorneys is accelerating at an extraordinary pace,” says Yusuff. “The challenge will be to keep up with the growing needs of our customers and to develop the solutions and technology that will keep up with growth.”
To succeed in this arena, Yusuff encourages individuals to go outside their comfort zone and take courses of interest in areas outside of major or field. Having a diverse background and skill set, she notes, opens doors when looking for a job or trying to get into a new field, as does networking. In addition, joining professional associations and self-study to keep abreast of changes in the field is a great way to stay in the know.
Read the full article at http://bt.e-ditionsbyfry.com/article/The+Right+Bit/2283731/274841/article.html.