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Alumni Engagement

Workplace practicum puts Business IT grad on the fast track from college to career

May 29, 2017

A successful co-op placement gave Roy Polvorosa a head start in his career.

While attending Red River College’s Information Systems Technology (now Business Information Technology) program, Polvorosa did his work experience practicum at Imaginet, a Winnipeg-based IT consulting firm.

When Polvorosa graduated in 2011, Imaginet immediately offered him a job.

“It was a great co-operative term,” Polvorosa says. “Sometimes companies give students the crummy work, replacing keyboards and what not, but I was actually in the trenches, so to speak. I ended up learning a ton and by the time my co-op was done, I had already covered half of what I was going to do in one of my courses. I had already done it real life versus a lab.”

As a Managed Services and Support Manager at Imaginet, Polvorosa is responsible for leading his team in ironing out IT issues, while also providing direction and support for Microsoft products such as Sharepoint and Office 365.

“Everyday I meet with my team, see what’s going on, give some guidance and make sure everyone is set for their day, and then I proceed to work on my own projects,” Polvorosa says.

“Often, I put on this other hat, where I’ll talk to the CEOs and IT managers that we look after, companies that look to Imaginet as their managed services provider. I talk to them about their concerns with their IT security, [and] what they’ll be planning for in the next five years in terms of their IT infrastructure.”

As quick as his transition from college to career was, Polvorosa didn’t always know IT was his calling. In high school, he excelled in science classes and participated in science fairs, with the idea of maybe working in the medical field.

“In my final year of high school it dawned on me: I don’t know if I actually like this stuff. I can do it, but I don’t think I have a passion for chemistry or biology,” Polvorosa recalls.

“What I always did like was problem solving, and technology always intrigued me. I’m not sure how, but I was always the person in my family to have a look at the computer or set up something new, everything from appliances to sound systems.

“I was looking around in my senior year of high school and my guidance counsellor mentioned that Red River had this course that touched on different areas of IT, programming, database and networking. I thought, ‘I think I want to try that. It’s nice that they do everything.’

“Sure enough, I found out I wasn’t really cut out to be a programmer or a database administrator but networking was a good fit. I like to solve problems and I have the mindset to diagnose issues quickly and use a methodical approach to go about fixing something.”

Polvorosa says he’s always up for challenges that arise from the constantly changing world of IT.

“It’s exciting to get to work with new technologies and to learn what will be the new standard for an organization with internet security,” Polvorosa says. “Since we’re a Microsoft partner, if someone is in the market for trying Office 365, we’re expected to be the experts. Imaginet always gives me the opportunity to work with the latest and greatest stuff, and I like it.

“I think some people would be put off by it, just because you have to be a constant learner. This is not a position where I master one thing, it’s changing all the time. There are a lot of principals I still follow from Red River, but the tech – the meat and the bones – is always different.

“It’s always exciting to be on a project that’s new. After you do the same thing four or five times it becomes routine, and then it’s not as fun.”

— Profile by Jared Story (Creative Communications, 2005)