People should never underestimate the job they are in; it might just lead to better opportunities. Case in point: Casey McLaughlin.
While working on his undergraduate IT degree, Casey took a class called “Information Studies Practicum” where all the students were required to work at the Help Desk part-time (for free!). “The Help Desk kicked off my career at FSU. Back then, few students had personal laptops, and computers were way less evolved than they are now,” says Casey. Upon applying to the Master’s program in the School of Information, Casey was offered the position of Interim Supervisor of the Help Desk. Shortly thereafter, he was made permanent supervisor.
Casey later went on to manage the school’s IT Infrastructure. Following the merger and creation of the College of Communication and Information, Casey was hired as the Web Application Developer. Two years later, Casey joined the Institute for Digital Information and Scientific Communication, headed by FSU Professor Dr. Greg Riccardi. He coordinated a team of developers, designers, and system administrators to support large information repositories and web applications for several large research grants. He also worked with natural language processing tools and other machine learning technologies.
Casey is currently employed at FSU’s Research Computing Center (RCC), where for the past year his job has been to coordinate support activities, liaise with their research partners on campus, manage documentation and the website, develop support applications, and supervise a team of interns. He also provides highly specialized consultation, technical advice, and coordination support to the research cycle on behalf of a diverse array of research disciplines engaged in High Performance Computing. In addition to working at the RCC, Casey is an adjunct professor for the College of Communication & Information.
From the CCI Help Desk to the FSU Research Computing Center, Casey has risen in the ranks at FSU, gathering knowledge and experience as he goes, and it all started at the Help Desk. “The department has played a large role in my career at FSU. People underestimate the value of the job while they are in it, but in retrospect, the experience I gained there both as a student and as a full-time employee was indispensable.”