When it comes to balancing a thriving career with student life, Tarek seems to have found the right formula. As a full-time employee at Laura Canada and a part-time student at Concordia University, he continues to prove that hard work pays off.
Hello Tarek, you work as a technical systems analyst. How long have you held this position for, and what does your job entail?
I’ve held this position for about two years. A technical analyst is responsible for the upkeep of our systems infrastructure and security. I ensure that for 24 hours a day, our servers and network are up and running without a hitch. Interference in these systems would have major impacts on our business, from our stores’ ability to make sales, to the functionality of the applications that we run at the head office – including the network connections that let us reach the Internet.
You’re also a student at Concordia University. What are you studying?
I’m a part-time student in the Department of Engineering and Computer Science. I’m pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
How do your studies influence your work?
My studies at school complement the work I’m doing at Laura very well. Work experience gives you a very hands-on and technical perspective, while university studies give you a theoretical understanding of why you’re doing things in a certain way. I believe that combined, these two different experiences are helping me prepare for my career more than traditional educational methods alone.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love how broad and diverse my job is. Our department is responsible for a wide range of systems, which means that I rarely find myself in a repetitive cycle. We’re involved in most of the technical aspects of the business, which allows my colleagues and me to learn new things on a consistent basis.
How do you manage studying and working at the same time?
A work-school balance is very similar to the many other life balances that we all face. You need to set your priorities in stone, and understand that there’s room for social activities, as long as you can work around your fixed schedule.
What are you looking forward to most this year?
This year will be a very fast-paced 12 months. I have the opportunity to step into a more challenging role, in terms of my career and the functionality of our IT department. I hope to learn on the job, and continue to deliver the same quality of work that our business has gotten used to over the years.
Quick Six – What would you be?
1. If you were an animal: Chimpanzee
2. If you were a location in Montreal: LaSalle
3. If you were an article of clothing: Black V-neck T-shirt
4. If you were a country: Switzerland
5. If you were a dish: Jambalaya
6. If you were an invention: Cooled cup holders