Graduate profile: Senior Project Manager
Dean Cavelti studied Computer Science at the ZHAW School of Engineering. He is currently employed at Namics in Zürich as a consultant and project manager. With the web service provider, he is in charge of such tasks as the planning and implementation of e-commerce solutions for major customers.
«I have been with Namics for three years now and have never done the same project twice.» Computer Science graduate Dean Cavelti rarely gets bogged down in daily routines. In his dual role as consultant and project manager with the service provider in Zurich, Cavelti handles the strategic planning of projects. He collaborates with a team of developers to work out proposals, clarifies customer requirements and tries to implement them in accordance with the customer wishes. He sees himself in the role of a mediator: «It is my task to unite the customer's wishes with the opportunities offered by software development.» The assignments handled by Dean Cavelti are just as diverse as the customers themselves: «I manage a really colourful collection of projects,» he says. For example, he recently planned and managed the webshop relaunch of a supplier of technical and electronic components.
That is one aspect which Dean Cavelti really likes about his profession: «I can work towards a goal and see a concrete result at the end of the tunnel.» He enjoys being surrounded by a motivated team, keeping an eye on the requirements of all of the stakeholders, and using a bit of diplomacy as necessary when mediating between them. Dean Cavelti considers the cliché of the computer scientist sitting in a quiet office and writing programs to be outdated. Basic technical knowledge is, of course, indispensable. He is also convinced, however, that the Computer Science program at the ZHAW School of Engineering enhances social competence: «You generally become more mature during the three-year study programme; the project work improves your capacity for teamwork and your so-called 'soft skills'».
«You generally become more mature during the three-year study programme; the project work improves your capacity for teamwork and your so-called 'soft skills'.»
Before Dean Cavelti started his studies, the focus on customer needs prompted him to give serious thought to the question of whether business informatics might be a better choice for him. «I never really wrote off the 'technical' side, however, and ultimately chose the computer science program. That was exactly the right decision; the study program combined technical and business components and thus met my expectations and goals very well.» In the final year of his studies, Dean Cavelti deepened his knowledge of programming, which is still highly beneficial for him today. He explains: «I don't actually work as a programmer or software developer. Thanks to my having the required knowledge, however, I can speak the same language as those in our company who provide the web services. This makes my current work at Namics much, much easier».
Dean Cavelti had no problems at all making the transition from student to professional life. «I started looking for jobs at an early stage and had already visited a graduate job fair in the year before my graduation. I was already able to make initial contacts there with Namics, which became stronger in the following year.» Under these conditions, he applied to the web service provider and received an offer – as did six of his classmates. «We were really surprised at how the industry was snatching us up. Almost all of them had already received multiple job offers before completing their studies, and especially those students who, like me, had specialised in software development.» The career prospects for computer science engineers are still very promising. Dean Cavelti certainly must know because he now attends graduate job fairs to look for young IT talent himself.
«During the apprenticeship, however, and even afterwards, I was still lacking in in-depth expertise. This was the reason I started my studies.»
Dean Cavelti began his career with an apprenticeship as a computer scientist in the area of Systems Engineering. Before starting the ZHAW study programme, he worked as a system administrator, building networks and handling hardware procurement. «During the apprenticeship, however, and even afterwards, I was still lacking in in-depth expertise. This was the reason I started my studies.» He continues to educate himself today, currently with a primary focus on the field of project management. The computer science graduate has also considered a Master's programme. He is in no hurry, however, to choose a speciality.