USP Alumni Network

Adam Shah

Name: Adam Shah
Country: Fiji
Programme: Bachelor of Science (1998) 

Why did you choose your field of study? I did Mathematics and Computing Science. I was fascinated by the Computers and always wanted to do more with it. In college (Labasa College) we used to get 1 hour per week Computing class where we used to do a lot of theory work. Last 15 minutes of the class we used to get to type. That was always my best part of the week.
Inspired by tech movies, I always wanted to do cool things with computers.
Briefly reflect on your student life at USP? Best 3 years of my life.Leaving the education bit aside, this was the first time when I felt like I was ruling my life. Living on the allowance from Multi-ethnic scholarship, managing my own budget, time, interest and life in general. Gave me a good exposure on managing oneself and finding the right balance in life. Other non-education related experience was the social life within University. I always had and still have passion and a lot of interest in Bollywood. Be it movies, dance, music, drama or radio. Labasa at that time was a bit cut-off from the centre of all these activities. I got involved in India Student Association and very quickly was in the middle of it all. I am still reaping the benefits of some of the work I did then and the friends I made there.
Greatest achievement[s] as a studentI did graduate in time with a degree but I wont classify that as my greatest achievement. I still think the 2 points listed above will go into greatest achievement list. I will also briefly mention a 3rd achievement. I found my partner in Uni.
Career Highlights since Graduation Project managed worlds largest Google Apps deployment project in 2013. Links to stories and article:
1. googleforwork.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/report-from-down-under-1. woolworths-goes.html
2. www.computerworld.com.au/article/538469/chrome_replaces_windows_woolworths_/
3. www.youtube.com/watch
Other major major Google Deployment projects I'be delivered since then includes, NewsCorp Australia,
Veolia (Australia and New Zealand), Countdown Supermarkets (NZ), Dick Smith (ANZ), Qantas Loyaty, Snowy
Hydro, Blueprint and Smartline. I took part-time role of teaching as an Adjunct Lecturer in Department of Computing. I did this for 4 years. I taught IT Systems and Project Management to final year students. This gave me opportunity to bring real live
experience into class prepare students for life after. I brought technology and my exposure of it to classroom
and featured in this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf3X9RRJA-U) Google's official story about Google
in University. My career highlight was project managing the first organization-wide migration to Google Apps project in the
region. In 2009/10 Macquarie University migrated to Google and I managed it. This (http://mq.edu.au/newsroom/2010/01/11/gmail-for-all-at-macquarie-university/)news story and several others on internet tells the story about complexity and the size of the project. Another high impact project I've delivered and am very proud of the work I did was the virtual lab project at Macquarie University. Read more about this here delimiter.com.au/2012/04/09/macquarie-uni-getsdeep-
into-virtual-desktops/. In 2008 I was selected to attend the MacWorld Conference (http://www.macworldiworld.com/) in San
Fancisco, USA. There I got to meet a lot of other enthusiast academics and developers. Also set in Steve Jobs keynote address and was the first few who saw and played with iPad before it hit the market. Got Staff scholarship to study for and Complete Post Graduate Diploma in Management. I did this at Macquarie Graduate School of Management and graduated in 2008. Macquarie University rep for Apple University Consortium for 4 consecutive years. Highlight in this role was
my engagement with students and sponsoring their initiatives. Refer to page 19 of this article:
auc.edu.au/media/wheels/Wheels_2009_Spring.pdf
Who/what do you credit your success to? What inspires you? I think it was the hardship in up-brining which gave me the initial push. But none of these would have been possible without the Scholarship. The highest credit goes to those few in the power at the office at that time who made it possible. I was called for interview 3 times while another person who's dad was a school teacher and had less mark than me got the scholarship in first attempt. I was lucky that through my friends and their
parents contacts we were able to get back in. I also remember what made me think that I will go and study at University. It was my form 4 teacher (Mrs Murti). She used to tell us stories about University and the social life while in there. It was the type of life I always wanted to live so I worked towards it. But none of these would have been possible without the
Scholarship.
How do you think USP helped you in your career? All those highlights listed about and of-course the education I got. Timing of my degree was also good. IT job market was just picking-up when I graduated.
Describe any challenges you face to reach where you are today and how you overcame those challenges? Getting the scholarship was the first hurdle and the next one was finding a job. Details on scholarship I've documented above. Finding a job wasn't easy. IT market was good but they all were looking for real life experience. The final year project we did in Computer Science was very useful to demonstrate some work experience. We did a project for Department of Environment and managed to get a reference letter from the IT Manager. This was very useful.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years (career and/or personal goals)? I would like to be self-employed running a Cloud Consulting business. The more I do these Cloud Transition project more I am loving it. And I know a lot of businesses out there are struggling with their current IT challenges which can easily be dealt with by some of the new cloud innovations. I also and strongly believe that we don't have a lot of IT 'experts' who can speak the simple business language. I want to be that person who listens to business problems and translate them into IT/Cloud Solutions.
What advice would you give to current and future students of USP? As you may have noticed, things which stands out in my head about USP is nor necessarily the education. Yes education is the backbone and is what carries you across but use the time in University to grow. Make friends, explore, discover and learn. I don't think you will ever get an opportunity where you have so many of similar-aged peers which similar ambitions working together. Make the best out of it.
Please share top three tips that you think are most important for our current students or recent graduates that will help them when starting out on their career paths. Keep a healthy balance - "University is a long road, so slow and steady wins the race". This is the balance between Fun and GPA, Develop people skill - Uni gives you a lot of opportunities to work in groups. Go for it. Do as much group work as possible and with as many different characters. Love what you are doing - you will do it well. Make sure uni is what you want, and choose study areas that you are passionate about.


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