Growing up, Wadner Joseph and his three older brothers loved to play computer games. When the family’s computer would run too slowly due to too many games being installed, Joseph would run virus scans and seek out new ways to make it operate faster, even disassembling and re-assembling the computer to pinpoint problems and learn more about how computers work.
In high school, Joseph pursued his interest in computer programming and opted to only take computer classes as electives. Although unsure of how to pursue a career in computers, he eventually found his answer as a college student at Barry University, where he discovered Barry’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and enrolled as a Computer Information Sciences (CIS) major
“I chose Computer Information Sciences, because the wide range of fields associated in IT would be able to help me decide on a technology-driven path where I would have the option to pursue programming and/or stay closely in tuned with other IT fields,” said Joseph, who graduated from Barry with a bachelor’s degree in computer information sciences in 2013.
As a rising senior at Barry, Joseph had the chance to put his IT skills to the test as an information technology (IT) intern with the South Florida Digital Alliance, a membership organization comprised of South Florida nonprofits, private enterprises and institutions in government, healthcare and education that seeks to provide new economic, educational and social opportunities for its members.
As an IT intern for the SFDA, Joseph refurbished donated desktops for optimal performance and ensured data security by sanitizing hard disks from the laptops. In addition, Joseph and other SFDA interns were responsible for creating and maintaining the SFDA’s social media.
“The best part of this internship was the opportunity to explore different fields in the IT world, test the waters, and see if I could be doing it for the next few years of my life as a professional career,” Joseph said.
As an intern, Joseph was introduced to The Universal Access Digital Advancement & Excellence Awards 2012, an event hosted by the SFDA that recognizes individuals, entities and institutions in South Florida for making a positive impact in their community by using technology to increase access to information, reducing the cost of technology or increasing connectivity.
Following graduation and the completion of his internship with the SFDA, Joesph was invited to attend the event for a second time in 2013 and was introduced to Raj Rawal, CEO of the The Fresh Diet, a gourmet-meal delivery service that operates in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas. The chance encounter led to Joseph securing an internship with the company.
As an IT intern for The Fresh Diet, Joseph was responsible for scheduling IT tasks; scheduling meetings; conducting system research for The Fresh Diet; maintaining and fixing code for the company’s website and app; gathering company data through databases, Google and email-marketing software; and compiling and segmenting client information for email-blast marketing.
“Mostly everything I have learned as a Computer Information Science major helped me throughout the internship,” Joseph said. “All of my problem-solving skills and knowledge of multiple programming languages helped me to begin coding on the first day of the internship, which left a long-lasting, good impression of me at The Fresh Diet.”
Joseph’s skills and dedication even caught the attention of Rawal.
“In a matter of a week, Joseph became our ‘go-to guy’ due to his ability to learn new tools and always being willing to help,” Rawal said.
After only three months in his internship position, Joseph was hired full-time to work for The Fresh Diet’s marketing department as a Web and information specialist, taking on marketing campaigns, analysis of the customer base and development of target lists.
Joseph’s most impressive attribute on the job? His attitude, Rawal said.
“He is a ‘can-do’ person who is low-maintenance, low-ego but with a high level of personal commitment,” Rawal said. “Additionally, he is personable and has fully integrated with the rest of the team.”
Joseph credits his post-graduate success to his time in Barry’s Computer Information Sciences program and, specifically, to James Haralambides, Ph.D., professor of computer science at Barry.
“Dr. Haralambides pushed me in every course that he taught,” Joseph said, “which molded me into a motivated and ambitious individual.”
For more information about Barry’s Computer Science (CS) and Computer Information Sciences (CIS) programs, visit http://www.barry.edu/computer/