Nick has nearly 20 years of experience in the IT industry and brings a strong background in networking and security to the team. He has worked in various roles over his tenure including help desk support, project engineer, security engineer, and solution architect. His passion is helping clients meet their business goals empowered by their technology adoption.
Nick helps provides strategic guidance as well as comprehensive engineering and operational support to our clients. He excels in solution architecture design of various technologies including networking, wireless, security, systems, and cloud. He takes the time to fully understand the client environment and their business needs. Then he comes back with the right solution and can clearly articulate the solution to the client and stakeholders within the business. Due to his background in cybersecurity, every solution is designed with a security-first approach. He also assists clients with development of more security centric services including policy and procedure development, tabletop exercises, and disaster readiness.
In addition to the client facing roles, Nick also holds some internal roles. He helps provide input and strategic direction on new technology adoption to better serve IT Insights and our clients. He is an escalation point for our engineering team and will frequently jump in to assist with project deployments and troubleshooting as required. He also provides on demand training to our technical team and operates in a true mentor capacity.
We sat down with Nick and asked him a few questions we thought our clients and partners would like to know:
Q: How did you get to where you are today in your career?
A: I always thought I wanted to be an airline pilot growing up. I started working on my private pilot certificate at the age of 17. Paying for flight lessons and college was going to be very expensive so I started a job working on PCs and cleaning printers. I noticed that I picked it up very quickly and that it was something I was actually pretty good at. Eventually my flight instructor asked me one day what I was going to do for a career. I told him about my desire to be an airline pilot. He liked the idea but asked me a question that ultimately changed my career path. He asked if I was comfortable with taking on this career path knowing that it might change my view of aviation from a hobby that I love to eventually a career that I need to do every day. I pondered this for a period of time and ultimately I decided that he was right. I think I would get tired of flying because its typically a very routine job and I like a little diversity.
At the same time, I had really grown fond of working in the IT field and found new and exciting challenges to overcome on a regular basis. From there, my career focus shifted and I dove in head first to information systems, telecommunications, and cybersecurity and I couldn’t be happier. Luckily, I still hold a great deal of love for aviation, probably due to the advice from my instructor.
Q: What do you prefer to work on?
A: My background is very strong in networking and security. Of the two, I think I still gravitate more towards networking. Within the networking realm, I really enjoy wireless networking. Whether it’s design, implementation, or post installation support, wireless can be very challenging and I embrace these challenges.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: It is probably easier to list what I don’t do in my free time but here is a condensed list. I spend time with my wife, two kids, and dog. I hunt, fish, golf, camp, scuba dive, volunteer, hike, swim, reload ammunition, kayak, go boating, do anything aviation related, play paintball, fly drones, and travel.
Q: What advice would you give to someone getting started in your field?
A: Personally, I’m very much a hands-on learner. Reading books and taking tests in my college courses was great for regurgitating information I had read, but for me, I learned the most through on the job training. Now for some, that could be a challenge to land that first job with no experience. My advice would be to invest in yourself. Purchase some gear and set up your own lab. I still do this and I’ve been in the industry since basically 2005. You can never stop learning in this field.
Q: What advice would you give to businesses who need IT support?
A: Businesses need to understand that cybersecurity tools and professionals need to be right every single time to keep the environment safe. The attackers only need to be right – or lucky – once. Cybersecurity is a vicious cat and mouse game and the worst thing a business can do is not allocate the proper funding to keep the business protected to the best of their abilities. It’s not a question of “if,” but “when”!