Student Spotlight: Anthony Rempel
Written On: 21 December, 2016
Category: Student Spotlight
Related programs: Network Administration Technology
Second-year Network Administration Technology student Anthony Rempel talks with us about the program in this Student Spotlight.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Anthony Rempel. I’m a second-year student in the Network Administration Technology program. I currently live in Brandon but grew up in Morden, Manitoba. I attended high school at MCI in Gretna, Manitoba.
What made you decide to come to ACC? Why did you choose Network Administration Technology?
I’ve tried a few different paths already; this is actually my eighth year of post-secondary. I’ve done a few years at Brandon University, taking History and Computer Science classes but realized it just wasn’t for me. I even tried the Civil Technician program at ACC but again realized quickly it wasn’t for me. There was a growing theme I discovered over time, which was working with computers. In all of my previous studies I worked with them a bit but not like you do in NAT.
Have you always been interested in this career path?
I had no idea what networking was or involved before coming into the program. I did enjoy working with computers though. One of my friends actually built a computer and convinced me to do the same. It was a really cool experience putting it together, from picking out the parts to the actual build itself.
How has your experience been so far?
I’m really enjoying it. It feels like it’s at the perfect challenge level for me and has much more hands-on learning than what I’ve experienced with my past learning experiences which were basically all theory. NAT is much more practical with a combination of both theory and hands-on learning, and you experience and get a grasp of what your career will look like after graduation.
Can you explain a little about the things you learn in the program?
Right off the hop, I’d like to say that the program is not about building computers and actually has very little to do with it. Network Administration Technology is much more about running networks. Networks are a series, as many as hundreds or thousands, of computers connected to one another along with a server. We learn to make sure this network and the computers are configured properly, everything can communicate and more importantly fix them when things go wrong. We even do some web-based networking using virtual machines that can be used to create massive networks.
Has anything surprised you about the program?
Yes, to some extent. I knew beforehand that it wasn’t about building computers but inevitably it was that culture shock of getting to learn about the sheer amount of stuff going on behind the scenes to make everything work--I’d never appreciated it before as an end-user.
Definitely! In my particular instance, I was only able to attend half of my Spend-a-Day in the NAT program. I did get the chance to do a few other SADs with other programs though. Try it before you buy it. Figure out what it’s going to be like before you commit.
What’s a typical project in the program look like?
The largest project we’ve done so far in the second-year is building our own basic network. We took everything we learned in our networking classes, both from first and second year, and put all that knowledge together to complete the project.
What are your classmates and instructors like?
Great. Every instructor wants to be here and enjoys doing what they do. As a second-year student, our instructors are more than willing to help you out as much as you need to succeed, both in and out of normal classroom times. As far as other students we all get along pretty well and help each other as much as we can. We have a pretty large mix of ages within the program.
Do you have a practicum work placement lined up?
I’ve got a few options lined up right now but and I’m just waiting on a few more responses before I make my choice. The idea would be a combination of a job-shadow and actual hands-on working. I’d be troubleshooting and possibly doing some design and planning—basically what we’ve been learning at ACC but in a real-world environment.
Do you have any plans for after graduation?
I’m not completely sure yet. I don’t want to start too big. I’d like to get my feet wet first, possibly doing some troubleshooting or helping at a user level. I’d prefer to stick around Manitoba wherever I end up. I’ve got a few connections here in Brandon and in Morden, so we’ll see what happens.
Did you do anything to prepare yourself coming into the program? Do you have any advice for other people looking to take NAT?
There weren’t any real preparations I did before coming into the program. My two years are Brandon University working on my Computer Science degree helped a bit but isn’t necessary to succeed. The Spend-A-Day was probably the most helpful by just preparing me for what I was going to see in when I got actually got into the program. Going into the program with basic computer knowledge was also helpful but most of the things you learn from the ground level anyway. I got to learn things like soldering that I’ve never touched or knew anything about previously before coming into the program—everyone is here to learn.
I understand the program hosts it’s own ‘repair shop’. Can you explain what this involves?
In year-one of the program, during a specific time, students convert the classroom into an actual computer repair shop. We treat it just like a real business would, filling out work orders, troubleshooting, and doing repairs. We make the shop available for any student or staff at ACC. It’s a great way to practice working with customers and putting your knowledge to the test in a practical setting. Last year when my class was involved I think we had close to 100 computers come through the shop.
We don’t normally take in Mac computers but last year we decided to take a few in. I’ve never used one or worked on any before so it was a great chance to learn a bit about them.
What’s something that would surprise people about you?
Some people wouldn’t realize I’ve been through 8 years of post-secondary already.
Do you have any hobbies or involved in any activities outside of college?
I do a fair bit of gaming and reading in my spare time. I also volunteer at a few places such as the Samaritan House with the Varsity Christian Fellowship from Brandon University.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me, Anthony.
My pleasure. Thank you!
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