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Computer projects help prepare Silver Lake College students for high-tech jobs

Posted On May 27, 2015

James Ward of Shawano was offered a job in his field even before he presented his final project in Silver Lake College’s System Analysis and Design class.

The Computer Science major accepted a position as an Associate Application Engineer for Thrivent Financial in Appleton.

“Landing a job in such a tight economy, especially in my chosen field of Information Technology, is truly a blessing,” said Ward, who received his Bachelor of Science Degree on May 2.

The System Analysis and Design class is usually one of the last courses taken by students in this field, said Silver Lake College instructor Rick Parlato.

“They work independently and have to meet deadlines,” he said. “It simulates the job environment. They have to solve problems on their own, account for their time and maintain a budget. They have to justify the project and why it’s cost-effective. They are tackling things they would be asked to do in real-life jobs.”

Ward’s final project was an Internet Information Server.

“It’s a way for individuals to communicate with me and for me to communicate with them. I’m offering my services in the IT profession as well as computer tricks and tips. The site is free and customizable,” he said. “We not only set these systems up, but we have to maintain them week to week and overcome any problems.”

Michael Peeters of Pulaski also had a job lined up before he presented his final class project. He accepted a position as a System Engineer for a medical IT firm, Cerner Corp., in Kansas City, Mo.

“It felt pretty invigorating because it was exactly what I was looking for,” Peeters said of the job offer. Peeters received his Bachelor of Arts Degree on May 2.

For his class project, the Information Science Technology major (he also majored in English) created a server virtualization service that runs different operating systems simultaneously on one computer.

“The project is about coming up with a solution that would allow a smaller-to-medium office function more efficiently,” Peeters said.

Carl Jean of Pompano Beach, Fla., designed a Windows server update service, a solution to computers that need updating and force users to restart in the middle of a project.

“It manages updates for a network and can help decide who needs what update,” said Jean, who liked the feeling of accomplishment when working on the project. “What I enjoy most is when I’m doing something and it’s not working. I like to research and troubleshoot and come up with a solution and figure it out.”

Jean plans to take summer courses before he starts his job search in earnest.

Meanwhile, Caleb McCargar of Mishicot designed a stand-alone email exchange server similar to one used in a corporate setting.

“I had never actually done a mail server before," he said. "It’s interesting and I thought it would be good to learn."