NEIT graduate, Annette Niemczyk, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems Technology, Networking Concentration, in September, 2004, and an Associate in Science degree in Computer Servicing Technology in March, 2003. Since that time, Annette has worked at Envision Technology Advisors in Pawtucket, RI, for 11 years.
Her hard work and dedication to the field of Information Technology was recently recognized by Providence Business News (PBN). Annette was nominated by the CEO of her company, Todd Knapp. She was named a âWoman to Watchâ in the Technical Services category of this yearâs Business Women Awards program from PBN. Annette joins 11 other award winners and 12 Achievement Honorees for 2014. As she stated, âI am honored to have been selected for this award. Technology has always been one of my passions, and it has been an amazing and rewarding experience climbing the ladder both technically and professionally with Envision.âÂ
Because of her commitment to excellence, Annette is reaping many rewards. She now shares her story with Tech News readers.Â
What made you decide to attend NEIT?Â
When I was first deciding on a career path, I was interested in Information Technology (IT) and athletics but knew that IT would be a better long term option. I had completed my freshman year at UMass Dartmouth. I was two weeks away from starting my sophomore year and decided that the IT program at UMass didnât offer the courses I really wanted. I heard about New England Tech and quickly realized that its IT program was more focused in the areas I wanted to pursue, which is networking and infrastructure.Â I was impressed with the hands-on approach to learning as well. Â Because of the October start, the timing worked out perfectly for me.Â Â Â
How did you choose your program?Â
I was always interested in computers growing up, especially the physical characteristics. New England Techâs networking program was very specific for what I wanted to do as a career.Â
What did you do to get started with your career?Â
One of my professors knew the owner of Envision Technology Advisors. During my last year at New England Tech, Envision was looking for interns, and my name came up. I worked as an intern from August, 2003 to September, 2004, at which time I graduated from NEIT.Â I got my business cards and was asked to come on full-time as an engineer!Â Internships are so important for students to get their careers going.Â Seeing the day-to-day operations of a company are so valuable.
Tell us about your position.Â
The company was growing quickly and because of my work ethic, I was promoted from Engineer to Senior Engineer within two years. In my current position as Senior Engineer, I provide IT services in the areas of infrastructure, security, networking, and virtualization. I work with two types of clients. First, I work with clients on their day-to-day operations, which involves consulting and helping them build their business from a technical aspect. These duties may include hands-on work or depending on the size of the company, I may be consulting with the IT Department developing its strategy. For the second type of client, I work as an engineer executing high level projects from start to finish.Â Â
What do you feel ultimately prepared you for your position?Â
My internship at Envision was the key to my success. It bridged the gap from book knowledge to real world experience. My classes were good, especially those that were hands-on. The hands-on classes really sparked my interest and made it stick!Â
Do you have any advice for graduates who are just beginning their job search?Â
My biggest piece of advice is to be hungry to learn. That motivation and drive you need to get through the learning process at the entry level will get you to the next level.Â You have to be willing to put in the effort upfront to get what you want in the end. Â You have to earn where you want to go. It just doesnât happen.Â
What can current students do to better prepare themselves for jobs in this field?
Get out and look for internships. Look for industry exposure.Â That is the biggest thing a student can do. All the certifications are great, but getting practical real world exposure is what counts.