Mario Deda - CompTIA
Marijan Deda, Mario to his friends, is a lifelong New Yorker. He had a good job as a doorman but felt stuck. Mario enrolled in CompTIA+ Computer Technician program at Lehman College to turn his interest in computers into a career. After completing the program, he joined Lehman’s IT department as a help desk technician.
“I had a good job, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be. I’d been studying computer science and computers for a while and that’s what I wanted my path to be...what I really loved.”
Mario spends his days using the skills learned in the CompTIA program to respond to IT issues on the Lehman Campus.
“What’s good about the job is that I continue to learn. I’ve become the de facto IT tech at home with my family members. Whenever they need help, I go over and take care of whatever their needs are.”
He plans to continue his education with Network+, opening new opportunities in areas like programming and web development.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a job like this, where I come to work every day because I’m excited and I love it. I don’t mind staying late. It’s my dream job.
Where are you from?
I was born in Queens. I’ve lived in the Bronx and Brooklyn as well, but now I’m up in Yonkers. I’m married and I have a 9-year-old daughter. I try to spend as much time with her as possible. She’s interested in computers too, so I try to get her involved in that, in programming and coding.
How did you get interested in CPU science?
I started when I was 15. They had a computer math class when I was in high school, that’s where I started. I didn’t want to just learn about programming, I wanted to know how to do everything. I learned to build my own computer, and do my own troubleshooting…that knowledge has been especially helpful for the job I have now.
What’s good about the job is that I continue to learn. I’ve become the de facto IT tech at home with my family members. Whenever they need help, I go over and take care of whatever their needs are.
What are you doing for Lehman?
Right now I’m working in the IT Department as a technician. My actual title is college assistant. I started last May after sending an email looking for work–I offered to do it as a volunteer just for the experience. When I met with my supervisor, he said what jumped out was the A+ certification on my resume. I became a permanent assistant after a few months and have been working here since then. I love it.
What did you do before?
I was a doorman. I worked at a residential building in Manhattan. It was a good job, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be. I’d been studying computer science and computers for a while and that’s what I wanted my path to be, what I really loved. Once I got the opportunity, I left that work to do this.
What is Comp TIA?
It’s basically learning a lot of hardware. There is also some system work, learning about how to get into settings, but a lot of it is hardware. You learn windows, but you also get some Linux and Mac as well. You learn to take a computer apart and put it back together. You learn how to set up a printer. So much of what I learned there really helped me. It’s one thing to know this stuff, but it’s another thing to put it into practice.
I had a very good teacher with Youseff. He explained everything clearly, and when we had questions he was able to answer them, and he knows how to make a class enjoyable. It wasn’t just listening to what he was saying; he found ways to engage us and make it more interactive.
Where do you envision all of this taking you?
Getting the job I have was step one. Hopefully, within the job, I can move up to other levels, and learn more to be effective. I’m still in college so I’m studying programming now. I plan to go back and get a Network+ certificate as well, which will hopefully lead to better opportunities and more money. The money is important because I have a family, but you can’t do it for just that, because that’s how you lose the love for what you do. I don’t think I’ve ever had a job like this, where I come to work every day because I’m excited and I love it. I don’t mind staying late. It’s my dream job.
One other thing, and I hope it doesn’t sound bad, but my daughter was very happy that I started working in IT. I think it’s nice for her to know that I’m doing something in IT rather than just being a doorman. I feel like I’m setting a good example for her, that whatever her dreams are, she can reach them.