Technology Management (Minors in Cybersecurity and Business) | Santa Fe, Texas
Service Desk Technician | Department of Information Technology (Student Affairs)
“As a service desk technician, I solve problems so other employees in Student Affairs can get back to their work. I do everything from working common access card/certificate issues for our Corps of Cadets support staff, to troubleshooting standard network/printer/computer problems, to reminding our users to login to Outlook with “NetID@tamu.edu,” not just their NetID. From this job, I learned how an IT department works in an enterprise environment, something that you learn again and again at every job related to this field. It’s always worth it to put in a little extra effort and to do things right the first time.”
“I’m a first-generation Aggie, but my older sister Amber beat me to a Texas A&M degree by a few years. I believe we are the first in our immediate family to have received degrees. Both my sister and brother-in-law are proud Aggies, and my mom has been an employee at Texas A&M in Galveston since the early 2000s, so the choice was obvious to me. I’m an Air Force veteran, so Texas A&M really goes out of its way to support me and other veterans.”
“I spent four years enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas. I was an avionics technician on C-130s, a military cargo plane. While communication, navigation, and electronic warfare avionics was my specialty, the realities of work on the flight line means you do whatever job needs to be done. My work consisted primarily of troubleshooting and scheduled maintenance, and other specialized duties. For example, I spent six months washing planes. I would get so filthy every day that I would come home looking like a coal miner. It typically worked 10-plus hours, five days per week, and I was on call during the weekend. Despite the workload, I really miss working outdoors with my hands, and especially miss the friends and military camaraderie.
Advice for Students
“Don’t let life come to you. Get out and experience things. Everything. Not just things that will help you with whatever career you may or may not have already chosen. Just try to experience as much of the world and interact with as many of your fellow human beings as you can.”
“I think one of the most important things I’ve learned in my life is that I am not the protagonist in my own story. We are living in a world of human beings, and I am no more or less important than the one who came before me or the one who will come after me.”
Quote to Live By
I don’t know if I necessarily live by any quote, but one that has really stuck with me over the years came from David Foster Wallace in a graduation commencement speech:
“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Good morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and says, “What the hell is water?” The point is that it’s easy to forget that what surrounds you is only normal because it’s what you know. To others, those surroundings might seem pretty strange. For example, many worlds converge at my office. Not everyone is the same. When someone does something that you believe to be strange, or reacts strangely to something I do, it might simply be because we think in different terms. If we are aware of the “water,” we can avoid miscommunication.
“I’m hoping to make the most out of the cybersecurity part of my education, I really enjoy the network side of cybersecurity, playing with Wireshark or Snort. I’d love to get a cyber-threat analyst position in the Washington, D.C., area.”
I’m a member of the TAMU Enterprise Applications Committee, which meets bimonthly to align enterprise information technology systems based on the prioritized business needs of the university. The goal is to reduce cost, facilitate innovation, and promote efficient communication, and to ensure that the diverse stakeholder needs of the university are recognized.
Story and photos by Athlyn Allen ’19
Division of Student Affairs