With much anticipation and excitement, my career in IT began in 2004 with Cablevision working as an Technical Support Representative.  The reality of the real world quickly suffocated my idealist view of working after graduatating college.  I was doing phone support.  Troubleshooting internet issues and walking customers through email setup. It was simple yet hard for me as I learned how to serve customers who were irate, agitated, and wanted to just unleash their anger for the issues they had.  I had learned quickly and gained a valuable skill.  The ability to talk to non-IT people about IT issues was paramount and it was something that I would use over and over later in my career.  My time with the call center lasted one year and a half.


           After a year and half working on the front lines of front-end support, I started consulting at Leboeuf, Lamb, Greene, & McCrae.  A very large and powerful law firm, which later merged with Dewey & Ballantine and is known today as Dewey & Leboeuf.  Our teams primary responsiblility was to make sure all of the firms networks & systems were up and running.  We used a monitoring system called Nimbus. It monitored law applications, servers, firewalls, switches, routers, storage systems, circuits, etc.  We had many health "checks" were an operator would manually do checks constantly during their shift.  After I joined, I had written scripts and automated using Wintask many of the manual health checks.  We installed these scripts on virtual servers, which gave us the flexibility of running a few on one server.  Our procedures were documented and maintained on a website.  The operations team liaisoned with the Help Desk, Application, Network, Systems Engineering, and Upper Management.  Providing them the latest on issues and resolutions.  The most valuable lesson/skill I learned was the significance of communication.  Keeping groups, engineers, and third parties vendors updates and in the loop about issues before they became problems in a timely manner.


           While consulting at the law firm, I was working simultaneously as full-time Systems Analyst at Thomson Financial.  Being part of a group of 40 analysts, we supported applications that were used by the financial sector globally. We supported 6000 plus unix servers, cisco routers, and other devices that connected and fed ticker data from the exchanges through their networks and to ours. I had successfully led my first IT project to upgrade servers that were using High CPU Utilization.


           Although working for Thomson Financial and LLGM were both decent jobs.  I was not satisified as I was confined to a set of tasks in these roles and it did not given me the level of exposure to the world of IT as I had hoped for.  I wanted to, No!, Needed to expand and broaden my IT skills.  The opportunity I was looking for had revealed itself during a search online in May of 2007.  It was a small start-up shop in midtown that provided a way to parse out OTC prices from Bloomberg and place them nicely in a gui and excel format. This price discovery software was sold to Bloomberg users and the financial community. They were looking to fill an engineering/support spot.  I'd went in and after being interviewed by most of the company, I got hired by the CEO himself. With one other IT person, we supported a service desk, clients, managed vendor relationships & the entire Infrastructure of the company.  I was doing everything from building Windows & Linux servers, racking equipment, configuring the servers/network, installing & deploying sotware, writing scripts, providing application support, talking to third parties/vendors.  Support was done over the phone, email, remotely (i.e webex), and on-site visits.  On occasion, I would also provide software demonstrations while accompanying our sales team during client visits.  I was also on call and provided 24x7 support for all systems.  For some a small group in a startup shop, the pressure mirrored that of a real trading environment.  I had adapted to a fast very paced enviroment. An environment that demanded real results and solutions on a daily basis.  No where near that type of jobs I had before. This role changed the way I'd approached IT and it was in tense job that suited my personality and work ethic.  I became very proactive.  The day to day tasks became second nature.  My passion and hunger grew in this role to its highest it had ever been.  I was undoubtely driven by my work and many times were working long hours, which did not bother me.  The intense workflow and electricity that flowed through me dissipated quickly after we were acquired by Moody's.  Day by Day, I'd longed for those days to return, but it would not happen. Instead, it got worse. The collapse of the credit/mortgage markets took the wind out of our company as many of our clientele were in that business.   Frustration had trickled from top down.  As top tier Investment Banks literally dissappeared, the US economy was spirling towards a recession. Our credit group within Moody's felt every bit of the crisis.   Doubts and fears arose as people knew that their jobs were on the line - No one was safe. Our frustrations grew and mgmt did not try to ease our fears about our jobs. They kept us in the dark and often did not comment on our questions regarding the company. I had a feeling that we were going to be let go any day.


           The economy rapidly declined and the country was in a recession. The aftermath of the credit crisis was felt across every industry.   Many companies cut costs, employees, and instituted hiring freezes.  The Credit group on the 27th floor at Moody's building, that I was a part of was caught up right in the middle.   The effect was so severe that the group couldn't and didn't recover from it. Within a year I saw a thriving company that doubled in size since I'd joined, to the company's business being cut to less than half of what it was the year prior. Towards the end of 2009, it was bought out by Benchmark Solutions, a company that specializes in failed businesses.  The majority of the workers in our group were laid off. My position was one of the first to be audited by upper management and to be cut.  I was one of the first who was forced to leave. No matter how good I was in IT/Engineering, no matter how much work I did, I had no impact in the growth of the business, which till this day irks me the wrong way. This lesson is in-grained in my mind and if ever given the chance, I'd like to be an impact person for a company's business. It has to be the right situaion of course. A place where I am a Principal. It was a very painful and trying time for me. After working extremely hard in tough environment for 2 years, I was suddenly unemployed. It took me a long time to digest what had hit me & many months later to comprehend what had happened. These events, however did not dissuade me to find something else. Two months later I landed a new role at a mid-sized network/software provider.  Ullink, an institution that provides an order routing network and trading platforms with the trading community. After 2 years at Ullink, I was not gaining any skills or knowledge. I'd learn how to support ther proprietary system in & out. I ended up training many of the new hires in our team including a new manager. The opportunities to do something different were very limited. After several meetings with upper mgmt., I wasn't going anywhere and my IT skills were getting stale. I'd gave my notice and entered Credit Suisse Equity IT team. A non-stop fast paced environment that suits my personality, where their are choices to move in other groups.