LOPSA is excited to relaunch our Mentorship Program on more stable footing. Sharing our excitement is our first mentee, Adam Snetiker. We picked his brain about participating in our program and present the interview below. If you'd like to contribute as a Mentor or participate as a mentee check us out at https://mentor.lopsa.org/
[Q: Could you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about your current background and experience, and your aspirations with regard to the field of system administration?]
It all begins with my love of design. I've always been impressed by anything that looked really cool and stopped me dead in my tracks. I always wanted to get into the field of special effects, but when I went to college at Indiana University (Bloomington), I noticed the Informatics major. Not knowing much about it other than that it was a new, hot field related to IT, my family and I decided it would be a more practical major than fine arts. It was all about choosing a cognate area, and I chose Telecommunications which allowed me to take courses in Flash, 3D modeling and animation, DVD authoring, video editing, and TV studio and field production along with the required courses in Java programming, mathematical foundations and others.
Two of the required courses for the certificate that I have already taken include Microsoft Windows Administration and Microsoft Windows Server Administration. Both of these courses completely opened my eyes to System Administration as both an area of IT and a viable future career path by making me look at computing in a completely new way. Immediately, I was blown away by the sheer number of useful tools available in Windows that I never noticed as a general user and the fact that these tools have always been right there on every PC I have owned. I am amazed the power they give administrators to perform both simple routine maintenance and complex tasks that enhance system performance and allow management of all devices in an organization.
[Q: How did you find LOPSA? When did you join? Why did you join? ]
I decided to search for professional organizations and joined LOPSA and others in an effort to make valuable connections with people and continue learning outside of my current classroom environment. In addition to LOPSA, I am currently a student member of the ACM, IEEE, ISSA and OWASP, and have attended a few conferences.
For a long time, I have followed thought leaders and industry experts on Twitter and other social media platforms and have occasionally sent emails soliciting advice or asking questions. Generally, I have gotten their opinion which I value very much, but have always hoped to find a mentor I can turn to for help in establishing myself as somebody who can add value to an organization as an IT professional. Thankfully, I came across LOPSAs mentorship program and was recently accepted and matched.
[Q: What do you find appealing about the LOPSA mentorship program? You mentioned you've been looking for something like this for years, could you tell us more about that, and what excites you the most about the program? What do you hope to get out of it?]
What excites me the most about this program is the ability to interact with someone who is a current practicing professional with experience in areas of IT in which I hope to build a successful career. What I hope to get out of it is specific feedback that will help me to establish a focused plan of action that includes careers I should target at the entry level and the most important skills for success. Eventually, I hope this feedback process will repeat itself as I work through my career so that as the specific skills and job titles change, the focus is still on making sure they are in sync so I can continue to advance and add value.
[Q: How has your interaction with your mentor been so far?]
We have sent several messages back and forth through the LOPSA Mentor web page, have connected on LinkedIn and have scheduled a Google Hangouts meeting next weekend. My biggest hope is that this person becomes a valuable connection that will be able to hold me accountable and notice the progress I make while being able to continue pushing me further towards success.
[Q: Anything else you want to communicate to our readers (who are both seasoned professionals and students and everything in between.]
The biggest thing I would emphasize for readers is to become somebody in the eyes of other people. Networking is the best thing you can do for yourself regardless of what career level you're at, but make the extra effort to send a message so that people know who you are. Take me for example - if I was just another person who filled out the form on LOPSA's mentor website, I wouldn't be featured in this newsletter. Instead, you're all reading a story written about me.
Adam may be found on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamsnetiker) or contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. "I look forward to meeting anyone and everyone and hope we can all work together to advance our careers and continue learning together."