David Nagrosst '12 is head of Datacenter Colocation and Solution Sales-Asia Pacific for a major global hybrid solutions and data center colocation provider in Singapore.
“I was already started on my career in information technology while attending NJIT, but I did not imagine just how much it would grow and develop. I also didn’t imagine that I would be working halfway around the world in Singapore,” he says. “I am quite lucky and fortunate.”
Prior to his present position, Nagrosst had multiple roles with his current employer; the one immediately prior was managing a highly specialized Solutions Sales team focused on the U.S. East Coast. Nagrosst completed an associate degree in computer science and decided to take a hiatus from further studies to concentrate on his career. But as his career developed, Nagrosst realized that he could gain greater understanding of many different aspects of his profession in the classroom, and he wanted to learn more. This is when he decided to pursue his bachelor’s degree at NJIT, where the combination of coursework and learning from industry-leading experienced professors increased his fluency in the language and knowledge of business, and provided beneficial insights into the connections between business and information technology.
“At the time, I did not see the full value or benefit of a degree, but this changed with experience,” Nagrosst recalls. “While I already possessed a great deal of technical and practical skill prior to attending NJIT, the classes helped crystallize, sharpen and round out my knowledge with theory and a deeper level of comprehension. The elective tracks that were part of my program at NJIT in addition to the core curriculum supported me in branching out to learn about management, marketing and financial analysis, among other valuable topics. As a part-time student, I attended all of my classes in the evenings and on weekends, which were often taught by adjunct professors who had real-world practical experience.”
While attending NJIT, Nagrosst lived in Morristown, N.J., and worked in New York City. For his commute to work, he drove up to an hour and a half from Morristown to New Jersey Transit parking in Newark, took the train to New York, and after work on days he had classes picked up his car to find parking near the NJIT campus and then made the long drive home.
“It was well-worth the sacrifice!” Nagrosst says. “I very much enjoyed the time at NJIT and still keep in touch with many friends and professors. I enjoyed learning and immediately putting my new learning into practical use for my work. I also have fond memories of enjoying a cold beer at the pub on campus after, and even sometimes before, evening and weekend classes.”
One of his most memorable moments as a student was a summer project that required him to develop a system using the LAMP stack for locating a faculty adviser by study area. He led a small team to successfully execute the project and presented it onstage to an audience of 300 students, faculty and company representatives. He also selected an interesting elective in electronic poetry and art (taught by Humanities Professor Christopher Funkhouser) that challenged him creatively.
“On the personal side, I enjoyed making new friends, many younger than me, and getting to know them and offering advice and guidance from my life experiences,” Nagrosst says. “NJIT offers a highly diversified, tough and valuable education. The people you meet come from all walks of life, income levels, races, and from many parts of the world. I consider the NJIT student body a cross-section of the world that has one thing in common — the drive and motivation to achieve, grow and learn. The students who attend NJIT tend to be the scrappy go-getter type, and when presented with an obstacle will defeat it and simply move forward and get it done! Nothing will stop us! We are a resilient bunch.”
For a short time, immediately after graduating from NJIT, Nagrosst left the company he was working for, to which he subsequently returned with new personal insights. “I do not regret leaving, since it gave me an important perspective on what I need from an employer and on being a leader,” he says. “It also taught me the value of a good leader, which is what I strive to be every day.”
After working with the company for nearly nine years, Nagrosst welcomed the opportunity to relocate to Singapore to challenge himself with building and growing the business in APAC by leveraging the skills, knowledge and relationships he developed in the U.S. — and at NJIT.
What advice would he give to those considering a job with an international firm, a career path he definitely endorses?
“Read a lot about the country you intend to relocate to, understand the culture, visit it at least once or twice and, perhaps most importantly, network and talk to other expats already residing there,” he recommends. “It is also a good idea to join online groups, and to connect with knowledgeable individuals active on sites such as LinkedIn. If you are just at the start of your career or still in school, try to intern internationally. Above all, don’t be afraid. You have much to offer the world.”
By Christina Crovetto