Computer information systems major balances school, work

by IRENE RIOS//Staff Writer

From printer jams to servers down, Jared Underwood takes care of all technology issues as the daytime manager at the Technology Center.  

Underwood, a Lubbock native, also is a full-time student at South Plains College. Underwood, who has been a student at SPC since Fall 2015, is a sophomore majoring in Computer Information Systems. He explains his major as learning anything that has to do with technology, whether it is working with computers, printers or servers. From a young age, Underwood would watch his father build computers, and that is why he decided he wants to work with computers as a career.

Deciding to work at the Technology Center was an easy decision for Underwood, as it would help him begin working in a field he is planning on pursuing after completing school. Before becoming the daytime manager, Underwood worked as a scholar assistant. His job at that time consisted of assisting the daytime manager with any tasks he needed help with, along with running any errands. This job helped Underwood for his position now, because he was able to see a few of the things that the previous daytime manager dealt with.

Underwood was promoted after the previous daytime manager took a job with the Information Services department. Underwood began working as daytime manager a month before the semester. He strives to make sure students have a positive experience in the Technology Center.

“I’m in charge of maintaining all of the computers within the Technology Center,” said Underwood. “I have to make sure they are all up to date.”

Underwood was excited when he learned he would be taking over the position of daytime manager.

“This is going to be the first time I actually get to do what I’ve been learning,” said Underwood.

Underwood works Monday through Friday, with his usual workdays beginning at 7:30 a.m. He begins the day by unlocking the doors to the Technology Center and proceeding to make sure all the computers are up and running correctly. He goes into his office to log on to the server, Athena, which runs all of the printing and the file server he uses.

“I usually have a big to-do list to get done in the day,” explained Underwood. “Once I’m done with the basic things, I get started on my list.”

Underwood is currently enrolled in 12 hours at SPC, and his responsibilities do overwhelm him. But he manages to keep a positive outlook on life.

“It helps that I really enjoy what I’m doing,” said Underwood. “I like the classes I’m in. I enjoy my job, and I just have to find ways to balance it all.”

Underwood says he is getting a real-world experience.

“I’m working on everything I would be once I get out of school,” he said, “with computers, servers, and making sure I can problem solve and fix any issue that comes up.”

Not only does this help Underwood get a taste of what his career field is like, but he hopes it will also help with future jobs.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to use my experience here to land a job and be able to convey what I’ve been doing,” said Underwood.

When Underwood isn’t busy with work or school, he enjoys his time off by relaxing at home.

“I like to watch television,” Underwood said. “I’ve got a big que of TV shows I’ve got recording right now. So, when I do have free time, I enjoy watching those and catching up.”

Underwood doesn’t have a particular college in mind after SPC, but he has looked into attending Lubbock Christian University. After completing college, he hopes to find a job working in IT.

“There isn’t a specific job that I have in mind,” said Underwood. “When I leave here, I’ll be starting at the bottom. So it will really be up to whoever wants to hire me.”

Wherever Underwood chooses to go, there is no doubt that he will have a bright future ahead of him.

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