Reaching Back; Getting Ahead
NCS Security Analyst Jimmy Vo Heads Back to College
To Advise Computer Science Students on Getting Ahead
Earlier this week NCS Security Analyst Jimmy Vo went back to school. A graduate of Richard Stockton College with a BS in Computer Science Information Systems, he returned as the noontime speaker for a Computer Science club meeting. Several dozen students had gathered to learn how to improve their chances for employment.
Vo, who joined NCS in 2010, currently spearheads our ongoing implementation of the latest security protocols. These not only safeguard internal data, they protect data accessed in the daily processing of thousands of IRS form 4506-T tax requests for lenders and other financial services.
At Stockton College, however, his focus was on securing a rewarding career. He offered "Three Things I Wish I Knew Back in College."
"I told the 30 or 40 undergraduate computer science students several things that I wish I had done in my undergrad days," Vo said.
The first point he shared was how vital it is to get practical experience through internships, or by contributing to projects through freelance work or volunteering at non-profit organizations.
"I struggled finding my first full-time job because I lacked that practical experience," he said. "There are many ways to get applicable experience and it is worth pursuing because it makes a huge difference to a future employer."
He also covered leveraging the expanding social media available to network with like-minded professionals.
"I encouraged all the students to use Twitter and the other platforms to interact with other professionals, and to join one or more professional groups. In the computer world there is the IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world's largest technical professional association), ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), and others. If there are no groups or local chapters around, I suggested that they start their own community-based professional group."
The last point Vo made was "refining soft skills."
"I advised them to consider joining a group like Toastmasters to work on public speaking," he said. "By sharpening their business acumen, all the technical work they are passionate about learning will find the business context that makes it applicable to a career with long-term employment."
He clearly touched his audience, who kept him there for a lengthy question and answer session on preparing for an interview, getting advanced degrees in computer science, obtaining certifications, and balancing school and work.
"It was a very good experience for me," he said, "and I can recommend that other professionals consider offering their insights to those coming up in their fields. I think it is as rewarding for us as it is for them."
To findn out more about how Jimmy and the NCS team can with your loan applications and verifications, contact us Photo: Jimmy Vo, foreground, with (left to right, seated) Matt Burke and Rob Vanfossen, and (standing) Rob Andrews, Jeff Herington, and Francesca Pascavage.