Many students knew Nigel Smith as the friendly Cisco CCNP Lab Assistant in Heritage Hall, yet only a few of Nigel’s peers were aware of his impressive professional background. Before entering Collin College to embark on a career change to IT Network Engineering, Nigel earned two Bachelor of Science degrees and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University in addition to serving as Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and establishing over twenty years of experience as a Test Engineer in the Semiconductor Industry.
During his first semester at Collin, Nigel joined the NISGTC program and immediately started utilizing the resources and services.
“NISGTC provided the general advice, guidance and was part of my support system,” Nigel said of his experience. “Once I was ready to begin the job search process, they helped to prepare me with all the pre-requisites: resume writing, LinkedIn updates and interview preparation.”
Among Nigel’s experiences with NISGTC, his favorite was when he received an exclusive invitation to participate in an onsite interview with the technical manager of a prospective employer. Nigel advises new IT students to get an internship, co-op or part-time experience in their career path as early as possible. He believes this is an excellent means of solidifying knowledge and a critical component for achieving a first job.
Nigel graduated Magna Cum Laude with an AAS degree in Cisco Networking Technology in May 2014 and holds several Cisco and CompTIA certifications. He is now employed by State Farm as a Technical Security Analyst.
Outside of school and work, Nigel and his wife of twenty-seven years, Maggie, enjoy keeping up with their five grown children and seven grandkids.