Phil Persson - Master of Networking and Systems Administration - 2009

Phil Persson

Specialised Solutions Architect, End User Compute, Amazon Web Services

A childhood love of computer science and design drove Phil Persson to study his Master of Networking and Systems Administration at CSU through study partners IT Masters.

Today, Phil is a Cloud Support Engineer, who loves nothing more than helping people solve their IT problems. Here Phil explains why feeling like the dumbest person in the room is no bad thing.

At school I ... Loved the technical and hands on subjects such as Computer Science and Design and Technology. Reflecting back at my school experience I would have to say the group of friends that I made would be the most valuable life treasure I can take away.

I’m currently … A Cloud Support Engineer for Amazon Web Services. It’s an amazing job and I’m incredibly privileged to work for such an innovative and passionate company that is building products and services rapidly, all based from the feedback from customers. I also get to work with the smartest people on the planet which is awesome, but you need to get used to feeling like the dumbest person in the room quite often!

I chose CSU... because Charles Sturt University, in conjunction with the IT Masters, is the only university offering vendor certification plus a university degree in a distance education setting. CSU is also very highly regarded and has a great reputation.

My best experience at CSU... was getting a High Distinction for IT Ethics. Funnily enough, Ethics was my favourite subject and it really resonated with my core passions and beliefs. Ethics also helped me to become much more analytical and gave me solid reasoning skills especially dealing with high level executives.

I’m a people person. I get total gratification around helping people overcome IT challenges, whether it’s my 91-year-old grandfather learning how to use his PC and play Solitaire, my mother needing assistance to copy her photos off her digital camera to get printed, a customer who has a complex architecture and is in pain because an application has crashed or assisting a customer to realise full potential using a technology that they did not know about. I’m excited and looking forward to my next step as my career progresses to the next stage.

In my profession it is important to… Have self drive, to be resourceful and to be analytical. Without these in the IT industry, one will simply fall behind. CSU gave me the resources and tools to be very resourceful in that a lot of the research for the assignments was all done using online resources.

Self drive was also part of doing the course by distance education, and you quickly learnt the hard way if you fell behind in your weekly readings and assignments. The most valuable learning was how to be analytical and I greatly developed these skills during the Ethics subject where you had to be analytical of both sides of an argument and then give a logical conclusion.