Information Technology Degree Puts International Alumnus on Path to Working for Multinational Transportation Company Alumni Profile
Meet Sergio Flores
- Job Title & Employer
- System Integration Technician, Bombardier Transportation
- M.B.A., Information Technology
- MBA concentration: International business
- 2010, 2018
- Transfer Presidential
- San Cristobal, Venezuela
- High School
- Don Bosco High School
- Now Living In
- West Mifflin borough of Pittsburgh
- Hobbies & Interests
- Home remodeling/improvement, hiking and learning new things
"I can truly say that every professor I had at Point Park brought out the best of me at a time when going through any given day was very hard. These individuals with super bright minds and caring souls not only helped me fulfill my immediate career goals, but they helped me become a more confident and proficient professional."
How did you land your current position?
My first bachelor's degree is in music performance from Duquesne University. After many years of following that path, I found myself at a difficult juncture and decided I needed to change career paths. To make myself more marketable, I decided to attain more education and enrolled in the MBA program, concentrating in international business, at Point Park University.
This degree program helped me land a full-time job, an immediate need at the time. However, this job did not line up with my career goals so I decided to go back to school to earn an additional bachelor's degree. When I met Professor Mark Voortman at an open house, he described the newly designed information technology program at Point Park. I immediately realized this was what I was looking for — this was my future. Pursuing a bachelor's degree in the information technology field gave me the tools that helped me land my current job with Bombardier during my last semester at Point Park.
Tell us about the work you do as a system integration technician for Bombardier.
I was hired to work on the Long Island/Metro-North Rail Road project. My job is to validate the functional requirements for train movement and to make sure the system checks that the trains go at the speed they are supposed to go, and ultimately, that the system will stop the trains should the driver fail to enforce the designated speeds. This is called Positive Train Control and it is a system designed to save lives.
We utilize simulators and test tools to send messages through the various components of the system and then read the results to match the data with the system requirements, thus ensuring the software and hardware perform according to specification. I have also worked on the DFW SkyLink project. Being on the field and seeing first hand how the automated people mover works is beyond what I had imagined as a career. Every day is a learning experience and the satisfaction at the end of the day after handling critical products is remarkable.
How has Point Park’s faculty impacted you?
The faculty carved my brain with knowledge, and knowledge is a good lever in today’s market. I got a lot of everything —from personal/professional mentoring and learning how to bring value to the workplace to discovering how to create and rebalance an investment portfolio and even learning how to be a better human.
I remember Professor Voortman told us in class that, to him, coding was something like having super powers. Seeing what coding can do in the real world has only enforced that very thought.
At the end of the day, I can truly say that every professor I had at Point Park brought out the best of me at a time when going through any given day was very hard. These individuals with super bright minds and caring souls not only helped me fulfill my immediate career goals, but they helped me become a more confident and proficient professional.
What career advice do you have for our IT students?
Take advantage of every tool you have available while in school, there are more than plenty of them. It is never too soon to get involved with various activities. I can say that every IT class I took gave me something I have used in my current job. I carefully chose each class based on current market needs and trends. Dr. Voortman was very helpful at combing through such needs. Most importantly, and aside from reading up on school work, inquire any doubts you have about your field of study with the faculty and they will guide you to the right path.
One of the things I learned while reinventing myself is that when you are looking for your true path, you have to dig deep into your mind and soul to find that particular thing that sparks your interest. Be honest with yourself and don’t be blindsided by that shiny thing in the corner. Once you find your true interest, run with it like there is no tomorrow and work as hard as you can to prove yourself. Your good actions will payback big time, trust me on this one.