Angel-Techs Program Acts as WCC’s Own Geek Squad

Lead tech Daniel Barr is in his final semester at WCC. (Photo: Amanda M. Gordon)

What’s worse than working on a nine page essay? Working on a nine page essay and your laptop crashes.

Technology has a nasty habit of not cooperating when we need them to work most, but thankfully there are some guardian angels roaming around on campus who are familiar with these issues. These people are Angel-Techs.

Angel-Techs is a group of students who are enrolled in the Computer Information Systems and Cybersecurity programs here at WCC. This organization was developed by Professor John Watkins, intended for students in need of technology to succeed in college, along with customer support to guide them through any computer difficulties.

“They have full access to a student with any technical questions, if they are having a problem, they think they have a virus, whatever it may be, they can come to somebody and get the help they need,” says Daniel Barr who is the currently the head tech of the program.

This tech support team was extended to some of the students in the honors program this year, which required some management from Barr. Angel-Techs also assist WCC counselors whenever a student is determined in need of assistance.

“Because we took over the IT support for the honors college we had to recruit quite a bit of students this year,” said Barr. Each semester the number of Angel-Techs on staff change, depending on the number of students selected and what projects they take part in.

The program matched up 18 techs to 18 honors students this past semester, giving students who might not be the most technologically inclined their own personal support team.

Burr, being the lead tech was put in charge of overseeing this specific project. Managing, training some of his fellow techs and assisting in any issues that couldn’t be solved at the one-on-one level.

While it may seem like all the benefits would go to the students who are receiving this free of charge geek squad treatment, the Angel-Techs, who join on as a volunteer and aren’t paid, benefit from this symbiotic relationships as well. Be it in the project of taking on the role of IT support for WCC students or working with non-profit organizations in need of assistance, these student techs gain a valuable edge in the field: experience.

That’s what initially drove Barr to join the internship. ”It’s a lot of what we do in a professional environment,” said Barr. While helping others, Angel-Techs get hands on experience in desktop support, customer facing, and practicing and understanding the skills needed in the IT field.

Students don’t just become Angel-Techs by simply raising their hands. To become a tech, volunteers are taught by Professor Watkins to ensure that these tech get results.

“The way I see it, the reason why we are here is to gain experience that we can take and parley into a successful career that will provide more than your average job,” said Barr. Having the ability to practice their career before stepping out into the workforce gives the benefits of experience and confidence in this extremely small yet rapidly expanding career field.

Working as an Angel-Tech is a major stepping stone for WCC students who aspire to be in the cyber or tech industry. “I went to a job fair [on] Wednesday in D.C, talking to Government agencies,” said Burr, bringing out a  resume which had Angel-Techs listed as an experience. “It’s one of the first things they bring up, ‘Tell me about it’.”

According to Watkins, students who participated in this program in the past have graduated and have moved on to be employed by many different IT departments. Students can acquire more information on this program through Cybersecurity Club officers.

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