Dell Student Tech Crew

  • CAT Network Systems Administrator ProgramHow do you get accepted to be a Network Assistant?

    Acceptance to the CAT Network Systems Administrator program is based on several criteria: Students must successfully complete the assigned coursework through the Microsoft IT Academy before the end of their sophomore year. Successful completion of this online coursework will prove that they are a responsible self-motivated student who can complete a difficult task with a minimum of guidance. Students must have at least two teacher recommendations; one MUST be from their computer science instructor. Students must complete a job application essay explaining why they want to become a part of the CAT Network Systems Administrator Program, what previous IT experience they have, and what attributes they possess that would lend to becoming a member of a team of assistant system administrators and developers for CAT. They must also include what specific IT area (server administration, web site development, application programming, SharePoint development, etc.) they would like to specialize in.

    How often do students have to stay after school or come in during their time off?

    With the responsibilities of a Network Assistant come certain requirements. One of these is that sometimes students have to sacrifice their time off to come in to school and help the network administrator with network problems or infrastructure upgrades. Off time such as breaks and Pro-Ed days are usually the only times the network can afford to be down because it does not have any users currently on it and also because teacher rooms are empty so it is the perfect opportunity to do major hardware upgrades. This experience cannot be looked at as time spent not on vacation but as time students can learn more about various aspects of the network and the hardware that is a vital life line to this school. This is also a good time for students to bond with other Network Assistants which will later improve the cohesiveness and team work necessary in this type of environment.

    How will this help students after high school?

    The things students learn during their time in the network room with stay with them forever. Being a network assistant is not like belonging to an interest club that so many students join only to put on their resume. When students become a network assistant, they are here to learn and here to help. If a network assistant fails to do either, then this class will add nothing to their resume. With the option to take certification tests, students have the opportunity to open doors for their future in the professional environment. The programming experience some may receive can be very beneficial as it may be used for college and beyond.

    What do students learn?

    Students learn the fundamentals of networking and the intricacies of hardware and how it all ties in to programming. By the end of their CAT career a network assistant will have a wealth of knowledge not only about servers but about code and the various solutions that have been employed in CAT. Students will also leave with a marketable skill and an industry certification to prove it. As cliché as it sounds; students learn early on the value of teamwork and dedication. The pizza party trivia games teach you some pretty interesting facts as well.

    What does it mean to be a Network Assistant?

    Being part of the Network Operations team means two things: creative problem solving and the willingness to learn, the latter of which is far more important. Creative problem solving in the network room, as students will quickly learn, is a vital asset and a skill that once developed, becomes an IT Swiss Army Knife. Not only will this knowledge apply to troubleshooting everyday problems, but also to more complicated fixes when you cannot just reformat and start from scratch. The second aspect is the willingness to learn. This trait is vital, simply because of the amount of new information, technology, and processes students will be exposed to and expected to learn alongside the formal Microsoft IT Academy course work made available. Remember this fact: no one expects you to know what WireShark is or how to add a job to Windows Deployment Services, but students must be willing to learn from the network administrator or the senior assistants and retain the knowledge. In short, network assistants must not only hear what is being said, they must also listen.

    What exactly are the responsibilities of a CAT Network Assistant?

    When a student starts out in the Network Assistant program, they will have one job and that is to soak up as much information as they can and to ask questions of the network administrator and the senior assistants. However, as time progresses students are handed more and more responsibilities and are expected to do them without much hand holding. This is not to say that we do not get help from the other assistants but rather that we work on so many things at one time, most of them team projects, it becomes increasingly important for students to use the resources at their disposal such as the MSDN help network, TechNet or a good search engine.

    What previous knowledge must students have to have?

    The required previous knowledge boils down to knowing your way around an OS with a certain degree of competency and knowing the basics of computer hardware and programming, the rest students learn here.



Current and Former Network Assistants

  • Classes of 2017-2019

  • Classes of 2014-2016

  • Classes of 2010 - 2013

  • Classes of 2006-2009

  • Classes of 2001-2005

  • Classes of 1997-2000