Class of 2011
Senior SharePoint Administrator
I first decided to go to the Center for Advanced Technologies because I was told that it was a Computer and Science magnet school and those were the two subjects that most interested me. I am drawn to them because of the base similarities in both of them, the ability to find a correct method or answer to a problem. It is not a unique feature of those two fields, but it is, perhaps, most prevalent in them. I expected to take challenging and interesting classes that extended my knowledge in both of those areas. It was everything I wanted and more. By the time I joined the Network Assistants program at the end of my junior year of, a whole year later than everyone else, I had taken several programming classes and even more science classes, but I was still unsure what I wanted to do with my life. Becoming a Network Assistant changed that.
In my programming classes I learned the basics, but what I learned as a Network Assistant was how to actually do things. What was really special about the program is the learning environment, I didn’t do assignments out of a book, I didn’t follow examples from the board, I was given a real life task to solve a real life problem and was given control of how I was going to do it. By allowing me to find the answers myself, I was taught much more than I ever could have been if I had simply been told the answer. This method of problem solving helped me to develop the skills I need to apply my knowledge in a real scenario such as a job instead of just on tests
When I joined the Network Assistant program I was given the task of upgrading and maintaining our internal SharePoint site CATNIP. At the time I had very little knowledge of SharePoint and no formal training whatsoever, so I was such a task was a bit daunting to me. However, I was also excited to learn something entirely new. Through a lot of work and research and even failure I was eventually able to create the site that we have to day with the help of many of the other Assistants and especially Mr. Zulli himself. If I had simply been given a list of instructions I would not have learned anything but instead I became the person writing instructions and teaching others what I had learned and, to me, that is amazing.
The combination of the unique learning environment, the close teamwork with the other Assistants, and the fact that these were real solutions to real problems made the Network Assistant program the best learning experience I have ever had and it plays a big role in making CAT a great school.