Local Business Owner Makes “Colorful” Presentation At South Hills
July 30, 2018
Alumni Stories – Alex Rodriguez
August 10, 2018

Alumni Stories – Bradley Bell

 
“South Hills gave me the building blocks to develop a good stepping stone to start my career here at GoHost, LLC.”
 
Q: Describe your current job GoHost.

Bradley Bell: At GoHost, my day-to-day activities include monitoring and controlling our networks, upgrading, patching different systems, setting up servers, and maintaining the servers. We also help our end users with their applications. I'm also part of a team that deals with help desk issues for our internal company employees, and I help get their computers configured and set up.

Q: What kind of services does GoHost provide and what kinds of customers do you serve?

Bradley: We provide an enterprise-level data recovery services, along with hosting. We provide high-end security level data center for businesses and we keep our customer information confidential.

Q: How did South Hills prepare you for your job here?

Bradley: South Hills gave me the building blocks to start a good career here at GoHost. They provided great information and trained us in current technologies that are used by many companies.

Q: What led you to choose South Hills after your military career?

Bradley: I chose South Hills because first: it was a small, local school, and second: my wife attended South Hills. After she graduated, I started there. South Hills has small class sizes and the programs include a lot of hands-on experience - that's how I prefer to learn is more hands-on, more just down to the bones.

 
 
Q: Talk a little bit about your South Hills internship, which is a required component of programs.

Bradley: I had two internships with South Hills. I was a little eager my first year. I wanted to get my name out there and start things, so when South Hills held our career fair my first year, I put an application in with Penn State World Campus. I worked there that entire summer, developed great networking, great skills that I picked up from working there. And then my second time around, I worked for Penn State College of Liberal Arts in their IT department. And again, that was another fantastic experience. More networking. It was a different feel to each department. Like I said, with the World Campus, I was more of a fill-in support help desk. And with the liberal arts, I was actually on campus. So I went to the different departments and saw the professors and saw the different students and things, which was great.

Q: Which classes were the most valuable to prepare for your career?

Bradley: I would say all of our networking classes. I mean, there were so many to list. But all of the networking classes that I've had there at South Hills definitely put me a step forward to get into this position.

Q: Talk about your favorite instructor.

Bradley: Matt Penning, IT Program Coordinator and Instructor, was my favorite instructor. From day one, you could tell his enthusiasm and his energy levels were up there. He has a great passion for teaching. He takes every student underneath his wings, no matter who you are. Even if you're not in his program, if he sees you struggling, he'll step off to the side and help you, which is really great. He's always made learning fun, competitive. It was a great time, but at the same time, professional.

Q: Since you were a returning adult student, were there any surprises? Did you think doing back to school was harder or easier than you thought it would be?

Bradley: I was out of school for a good nine years, then going back to into college. So getting back into the whole school mindset was a little challenging, and being a father, and dealing with all the stuff from home...South Hills, they didn't make it stressful. South Hills made it very easy to manage your school life and your home life. Most of my classes began at 8:00 in the morning, and they were done by 4:00 in the afternoon. So you still had the majority of the day to go out and either work or do the errands that you had to do. And, they also incorporate the one hour during lunch, so you're downtown Lewistown, if you have some errands, you need to run to a bank, you had the chance to.

 
 
Q: Do you have any comments about the other student services at South Hills (Financial Aid, Career Services, etc.)?

Bradley: I was helped with financial aid by Steve Russell, Financial Aid Administrator, and he made the process very easy. He explained every step of the way, from signing up to as we're getting our excess loan checks, he always strived to make sure that, unless you actually needed that money, you should put it back, and that way your loans aren't huge whenever you graduate. Towards the end of the school year, before you graduate, he made sure that you knew how to log in, how to pay your bill and all the other things that encompass student loans.

Career Services - they're great. If it weren't for Christine Sulouff, Career/Student Services & Academic Affairs Coordinator, I wouldn't be where I'm at right now. She was determined, and she got my name out there to different people, which really helped.

Q: Did you participate in any student activities or clubs?

Bradley: I was the president of Club IT. I had started my second year, but my first year, I was just a regular member of the IT club. I was also, my second year, a student ambassador, and I was on the student panel for whenever we would have potential students coming over.

Outside of that, I also helped build our winter float, and we ended up placing second place during the winter parade here in Lewistown, which [is the first time I guess they placed in, I don't know, seven, eight years or so.

Q: If you could describe South Hills in three words, what would they be?

Bradley: If I could describe South Hills in three words, those three words would be “fun, educational, and memorable.” “Fun” because the classes were great. Never really had a bad day at South Hills. You might have had a bad class, but your friends are there, and your instructors are there, and they just make the entire day fun.

“Educational” I mean, they do give you the greatest knowledge that they can. I mean, it's pertinent information. It's current information. The instructors, they make sure to reach out to the community to figure out what the community's needs are for their students. Instead of taking a ten-year-old class for something that's not being used, we're taking a current class for new technologies.

And “memorable,” because you always make memories in college, even though it was just the two years here at South Hills, but in those two years, I can probably name off ten things that I distinctly remember from my time there. It was a great experience. Great memories.

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