EAS Alumnus Bill Pyszczymuka

Bill P.

Bill Pyszczymuka graduated in 2005 with a degree is East Asian Studies with a minor in Religious Studies. For about a year he worked professionally at the University with Information Technology Services creating and maintaining network/email accounts. During this time he obtained the international Help Desk Institute certifications in Desktop Support Specialist and Analyst.

In the Fall of 2006, he stayed in the IT sector and moved onto Information Services at Albany Medical Center, where he supported over 60 clinical applications for approximately 10,000 end-users.

Today Bill has returned to UA and works in the CAS Computing division, providing tech support to many academic units in the College of Arts and Sciences.

He writes, "Surprisingly to some, my EAS degree has been advantageous to me in many aspects. First and foremost has been making me able to do research effectively. Writing technical documentation requires much research and tons of footnotes. The EAS department certainly knows how to instill these skills into their students.

Earning an EAS degree forces you often to “think outside the box” or to “put yourself in another’s shoes”. Either of these is certainly useful in diagnostics and communication regardless of your job-type. For my job, I need these skills on a daily and constant basis.

Also, the EAS degree has assisted with company-client relations. Although I never learned an EAS language fluently, most clients appreciate a simple ‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ in their native tongue. Having studied in a culturally diverse range of subjects, it is essential to use those skills in building relations with my clients on a daily basis.

It’s the latter part that certainly raises heads when I was applying for jobs. With my decision to stay in the IT sector, taking advantage of the Tech/Internet Bubble 2.0, having an EAS degree certainly raised an eyebrow. Most are expecting an ISP or CSI major, but not East Asian Studies. Yet, more and more jobs in any sector are requiring evidence of being able to work in a culturally diverse environment – especially as our
world flattens. Having a deep cultural understanding and being able to communicate effectively, regardless of any language, is certainly an asset to a company. Many employers today are looking for those who have education or experience in a varied background.

I plan to stay and settle in the Capital Region for the time being. With the Region becoming known as the Northeast “Tech Valley” and with a number of technology parks opening in the next few years, it will be advantageous for me to stay in the area. I continue to read EAS literature (biographies, histories, fiction)."

 

Last updated August 28, 2009