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ITS Alumni Student Assistants: Where Are They Now?
Chris Lagali is an employee of CSU East Bay’s Information Technology Services’ (ITS) Data Management and Services department and a prior student assistant of the Service Quality team. He studied Computer Science in India as an undergraduate before deciding to come to the US to continue his graduate studies at CSUEB.
What were your responsibilities as a student intern and how did it help you in your professional career?
I worked for the ITS Service Quality department in a variety of roles. I wrote articles for our Knowledge Base, which provides solutions to customer questions. I also provided testing of the Service Catalog. My responsibilities were further diversified when I was asked to assist another team with the maintenance and testing of the campus-wide service management platform, ServiceNow. Other tasks included maintaining the IT service pipeline and documenting Google App updates.
These tasks helped me to understand the value of quality in reducing the effort and time spent on re-engineering. In fact, that is the most important lesson that I learned as a student assistant: effective and timely documented solutions are invaluable to me and to my replacement in performing a task without spending too much time in re-learning what is already known. This has helped me to be more efficient in my current role as an analyst.
Tell me a little about what the Data Management and Services group does - what is a day in your life look like?
The Data Management and Services group manages all of the data collected by the university, including ensuring the highest level of information security and developing protocols for staff to access what they need. I personally create report templates and the reports themselves, as well as developing web user interfaces. In addition, we are centralizing our resources and designing a presentable (simple but informative) data dictionary - essentially, a source of information about the information.
How did your time at CSUEB help you develop professionally?
CSUEB’s Masters program is very flexible in allowing a student to design a customized program based on his or her personal interests. My personal academic interests focus on the relationship between computer hardware and data handling. I was able to find classes that interested and challenged me, including a class called ‘Theory of Automata,’ which discussed such topics as the theory of abstract machines and Turing machines.
I also had the opportunity to work in the research lab of Dr. Lynn Grew. There we worked on an app that helped the blind to be more secure when crossing intersections. When pointed at a light source, the app could verbally tell the user if the light was red, yellow, or green. Additionally, the app could sense if the user was veering off course and offer a warning and directions to get back on course. Overall, is was a very gratifying project to be part of.
My role here at CSUEB is constantly changing, expanding, and challenging me in new and interesting ways. I look forward to what the future has in store!