By: Diane Stirling
Graduating senior Brian Garber might be between college degrees right now, but because of his Syracuse education, he’s not between jobs.
Garber, who is from the Philadelphia area, graduated in December from the School of Information Studies (iSchool) with his bachelor’s degree in Information Management and Technology. He received his Certificate of Advanced Study in Information Security Management at the School’s 2015 commencement earlier this month, and he’ll take two one-week Maymester courses, accumulating more credits toward his iSchool graduate-level education, a master’s degree in Telecommunications and Network Management. He plans to finish that degree with distance courses next fall and spring to achieve his further academic goals. But in the meantime, Brian already has been hired at his dream job. He’s leaving for the West Coast this summer to start working for Google in California.
That kind of motivation and achievement could explain why Garber was the choice for the Donald A. and Joyce P. Marchand Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. It’s the iSchool’s award recognizing an outstanding senior based on academic achievement, and named in honor of the former iSchool dean and his wife.
His selection for the top honors came as a surprise to Brian, who, in looking back at his years here, said he has had “an incredible time at the iSchool and at Syracuse, and this just puts the icing on the cake. It’s a huge honor to be receiving an award like this.”
It certainly was his academic record, but also a well-rounded array of extracurricular activity opportunities afforded him by the School that led to the Marchand award, and also helped him land the plum role at Google, Brian believes. In August, he begins a 26-month program for college graduates focused on learning the internal technology and technical infrastructure at Google. His job tasks will support and maintain Google’s internal IT structure, “everything from helping people get back online to making sure Google.com is up and reliable and responsive,” Brian said. He also will experience a rotation period, where for three months, he’ll be located in a different Google office–potentially somewhere around the globe—where he will be working with colleagues on different projects. At the end of the program, he can choose to stay on at Google if he wishes.
Brian says he “can’t think of a cooler place to work,” reflecting on the opportunity. “Everything I learned in school and all my experiences thus far put me in a unique position to apply for it and to get an offer from Google,” he affirms. He’s excited for the kind of future learning and doing that this position holds. “As someone in technology and interested in infrastructure, Google is an Internet giant. They make so many products we use on a daily basis — Google searches, Google Maps; all these products are so interesting and so widely used. It looks like a fun and exciting place to work and also a rewarding place to work because you can make a definite contribution and watch the result of that grow.”
Garber said he looks forward to his job, to finishing his degree, and then becoming part of the iSchool’s close-knit alumni network. “I really look forward to staying in touch and giving back through the Alumni Association, and maybe even helping host Spring Break in Silicon Valley,” he added.
He said he’s thankful for all he has experienced here, and for “a future that is open for me, and much of that is thanks to the iSchool and all the experiences I’ve had — internships, opportunities for mentorship, working in the CCENT lab, the cybersecurity competition. All are unique experiences that have combined into a nice package to prepare me for the future, and the future looks bright.”