A Day in the Life – Ryan
What is your title? Describe what you do.
I’m an IT Integration Engineer for the Technology Solutions Group at CSCI. My current project has me overseeing the IT Operations for one of our key clients. I am central in the development, implementation, administration, and security posture of IT Operations on my current project.
What drew you to CSCI? Why did you choose to work here?
I have been with CSCI on and off for 19 years. I first was introduced to CSCI via referral from a colleague I worked with who joined CSCI before me. I immediately fell in love with the family atmosphere and family-friendly work environment. When I met Chief Technology Officer Peter Anderson during the interview process, we hit it off immediately. CSCI has a tremendous depth of projects that I have been blessed to be involved with, which has helped me grow throughout my career.
What makes CSCI different than your previous workplaces?
The family atmosphere that the CEO Linda LaRoche has fostered sets CSCI apart from any other workplace environment I’ve been in. The work is also challenging yet rewarding. Leadership at CSCI has an open door policy where I feel heard and understood, and they have been a pleasure to work with.
What do you like best about working at CSCI?
I love the team we have put together in the Technology Services Group. Everyone readily shares information, and we have Subject Matter Experts to cover just about every technology sector you can think of. Anytime I need an answer to a problem I’m banging my head against; my teammates are always there to provide some knowledge and a different perspective.
What is an example of a success story you have had at CSCI? How did you achieve success on that project or endeavor?
Over the past 2 years, I have served as an IT Integration Engineer and Project Team Lead for our current client. I have successfully built a CUI (Controlled Unclassified Information) network and System Integration Lab for the client. My team has also built out a Tactical Deployment Center as a Common Host Environment, and we are starting to embark on moving the CUI network to a Government Cloud Computing (GCC) architecture. Since the beginning of the project, our team has received widespread praise for our efforts, as we have been critical to the growth of CSCI’s footprint on the project, and CSCI continues to add more FTE’s due to project expansion.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a role like yours? Are there specific character traits or skills/certifications you should possess?
To be a Systems Engineer, the first thing to realize is that growth is constant. As technology is rapidly changing day to day and year to year, we are always learning and evolving. Understanding not only how to build and implement technology, but how to secure it is also paramount. A good base to start with is with the Network + and Security + certifications. From there, there are many niches to follow, depending on your preference and what aligns best with your skillsets. But if you work in IT long enough, you may end up acquiring knowledge in a bit of everything.
What’s on your playlist when you’re focusing on a project at work and when you travel?
Music-wise, I fluctuate from Hip-Hop and R&B when I’m in an upbeat mode, to Smooth Jazz when I want to relax and mellow out a bit. Lately, I have been listening to a lot of different podcasts and Audible books as well.
What has helped you stay focused during this pandemic remote work situation? How have you adapted professionally?
I have a lot of experience with remote work, but during the pandemic, I developed more of a daily routine to keep myself focused. I get up early and workout, and if it’s nice enough outside, I like to go for a run before I start the workday. I find I’m more energetic when I can get my workout in. Then it’s me, some caffeine, and my dual monitors for the rest of the day. I have also been able to take more time to enjoy my family during the pandemic.
When things get closer to normal, what is the first thing you want to do that you cannot do right now?
The first thing my family and I want to do is take a family vacation in Barbados.
How will this unprecedented time change your perspective?
These unprecedented times have really honed my perspective to cherish my many blessings and be thankful for them, but also not to lose sight of any opportunities and challenges that may lie ahead.