Willie Macfarlane


Class of 2015
Senior Project Manager

Working as a network assistant is one of those experiences that really leaves an everlasting mark on your life. The environment you work in is, in my opinion, what every work environment should be like; you pick the task you find most interesting or you want to learn more about, you are given instruction to satisfy a general need and you are free to explore the best way to accomplish it. My first year as a network assistant I was in charge of graphics. Having a huge knack for graphic design already this position was perfect for me. I worked with my classmates and occasionally with Mr. Zulli to create a lot of what you might see on the school website. I was responsible for making icons for Lakewood’s internal and external site and even had the privilege of making some of the PowerPoints that Mr. Zulli used to deliver keynote presentations to software companies and developers around the world. There was one aspect of this job in particular that made it quite enjoyable, and that was the trust that was put in me. I had essentially complete freedom to make these icons and PowerPoints however I saw fit because of how much everyone trusted me to do my job well. This provided the ideal environment to let my creativity flow into my work and it resulted in some very satisfied customers.

My second year I requested to be put on web dev. In middle school I dabbled in some html and css and enjoyed it and wanted to begin to apply it to some higher level development. My request was honored and as such I was put in charge of building, from scratch, the Lakewood Athletics site, used to display various statistics from Lakewood’s very own sports teams. Again I was given a ton of freedom. I began designing a site I thought would be appropriate for a subject like athletics, presented it to Mr. Zulli and he loved it. From there I worked with two other students to create the functionality of the site. The majority of the javascript was handled by Andy and the css was handled by myself and Kaylee.

The important thing to take away from the network assistant program is how well it prepares a student for the business world. You get hands on experience with current software, challenging tasks that require actual problem solving skills, and all of that wrapped up in an emulated work environment. We had to work in teams to fulfill a real-world need on our own and that’s something you can’t teach in a regular class.

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