Matthew Kounniyom

Matt Kounniyom

Major: Computer Science
Minor: German
Year of Graduation: 2019 (Fall)
Current Position: Database Technical Support Specialist, IBM, Rochester, MN

Please give a brief description of your current position.
I am a Database Technical Support Specialist for IBMi Systems. IBMi is IBM’s proprietary Operating System for their POWER server hardware. These are solutions to process data coming from higher level applications/software.

What path did you follow to get to your current position?
I went to school, worked for SJU Dining Services and made music. Received my degree, applied to IBM eventually. Here I am.

What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
Be interesting. Be able to think outside of the box.

What skills are important in your field?
Problem solving and communication.

What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your position?
Seeing the broken machine work again.

Most challenging?
Learning all there is to know about IBMi.

What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?
I worked a lot. The positions at the Reef/Dining Services, molded me into the person I am today. I would have no experience in a team role without it. The jobs I held there are as follows: student dish-room employee, student supervisor, student cashier, student intern, and full-time data technician.
Academically I did a 2-month research project on Big Data Recommender Systems with the Computer Science Department. It was a blast. That is where I learned how to research and understand in a minute way. The senior capstone project really hit the nail on the head; I failed that class twice due to unforeseen circumstances and poor planning. Ended up having to finish my project up the SECOND time by the end of summer 2019. I also took German courses to switch up my class schedule and ended up with a minor. Just having that on my resume and my reasoning for it when asked is “because it was fun and really hard,” made my manager excited when I interviewed.

(April 2019)