In case you were interested, this is how the story went....
1983 - 1994
After too many years in Rockland, going to school with preppy rich kids (sounds like fun, but if you arenít rich or preppy, you stick out like a sore thumb), I graduated from Clarkstown High School North. I got early-decisioned to University @ Albany where I really hoped to get my BS in Medical Technology. Sounds good? I wanted to work in a lab, but whoop, sorry, the pay wasnít that spectacular.
After 2 ½ years of dorming, I basically grew up. I tell ya, living at home is the nice life, but when you go away to school for the first time, youíre on your own. Did I graduate from Albany? No. I loved Biology (always have), but Chemistry didnít love me. Too many attempts, and I finally gave up. Iíve always tried and tried, but this time I realized that maybe it was the wrong path.
In December 1996, I came home to figure things out. There was much to figure out: Biology was my entire life, so if I didnít do that, what would I do? Took some classes at St. Thomas Aquinas College nearby while I spoke to people and did my research (hey, I was a science majoróresearch has always been part of the game.) At Pace University, I found out great news: apparently, thereís more to the world of computers than just programming! Imagine that. I started taking classes at Pace in the summer of 1997. I had lots to catch up (I was starting over) and wanted to graduate as fast as possible. That summer, I took two classes in each summer session at Pace, and an English Lit class at Westchester Community College simultaneously. BTW, I donít recommend anyone taking 15 credits in one summer, because I would end up leaving one of my classes at Pace early so I could make it to WCC. Regardless, I did well, and started taking actual important classes for my major that fall semester. My new degree hopes--BS in Information Systems, learning all about systems analysis, design, implementation, etc.
I worked pretty hard, and had two internships while at Pace. First was at the Readerís Digest Association in the Help Desk (1997-1998). At the end, they offered me any group I wanted, but it was my decision to try a new environment, learn something new. I went next to Gevalia Kaffe, a division of Maxwell House, a division of Kraft Foods, owned by Philip Morris. I was an NT Systems Admin there, and learned a lot (1998-1999.)
1999 - 2002
After much praying, sweating, and some chicken sacrifices, I got my dream job at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Prepare for the acronyms as I walk you through my PwC career:
1) Originally, I was going into their basic Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS) group to do IT audit.
2) However, being somewhat technical, they decided to put me in their Technology Risk Services (TRS) group (later renamed TVAóThreat & Vulnerability Assessments.) We were a bunch of geeks who examined a client's system for security vulnerabilities. Sounded pretty glamorous. I remember that at a couple of big GRMS meetings, people would make a joke that if there was a sophisticated computer problem, the "TRS folks" would know how to solve it. Being a geek, you can learn to appreciate the minor fame.
3) I got bored there after a year, and agreed to move into their new Security Integration Sevices (SIS.com) practice. That was fun (implementing security solutions for clients), but the traveling got very tiresome. Most clients have their operations in the boondocks, so there isnít that much to see either.
4) Because of the bad economy, PwC and I parted ways after our 2 ½ year relationship. Read into that what you will. :)
2002 - present
Iím now at the New York Life Insurance Company as their newest IS auditor. Funny how things come full-circle.
About two years ago, I went over to the dark side and moved to New Jersey. Why the dark side? Well, no New Yorker in his/her right mind would willingly move to Jersey unless there was a really good reason. My reasons? To be closer to Newark Airport and the cityóboth reasons were for my glorious life as a security implementation specialist for PwC. Oooh, aaah.
Nowadays, Iíve left the consulting world behind (bad economy, man) for the regular 9-to-5 life. And the verdict? ďI could get used to this.Ē No more early Monday morning flights at 5AM, no more car->airport parking->airport->airplane->airport->rental car->client site for me. Now I get up, get to work in an hour, and I come home at 5 with the rest of the evening to myself. It may not sound glorious, but itís oh-so-good! I have a life now, and it doesnít revolve around my job. My paycheck, but not my job.
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