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The Founders Society Spotlight: Justin Bagley, 2005
Class 1 - FY2011-2012
Class 2 - FY2014-2015
Justin Bagley has become the first Crooms Academy of Information Technology Class of 2005 graduate to join The Founders Society. As a resident of New Jersey working for Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical sector, he also represents – geographically – the furthest-flung Founder as of yet. Justin states he joined The Founders Society because, "the investment gives me the opportunity to help someone else reach their dreams, just as I have."
As part of the first class of Crooms Academy of Information Technology, Justin and his family took a risk in attending Crooms AoIT. Yet, as Justin explains, the choice was pretty easy, "Crooms was the only school seriously offering IT classes. The technology bubble highlighted the possibilities within IT. I thought preparing for this field would be a good opportunity." This focus on information technology from an early age is paying dividends now. Given the opportunity to study IT over the course of the last decade, Justin has received jump on the competition. The small class sizes at Crooms provided hands-on attention from teachers and allowed a special bond to form with the faculty.
Extracurricular involvement at Crooms proved to be of great benefit as well. Being involved in sports for four years under the tutelage of Coach Nat Perkins was a unique opportunity. "Coach Perkins helped build character and team-buildings skills," Justin recalls. Team sports also helped develop his interpersonal skills and focus; these lessons have been carrying over to the business world. The administration and guidance departments provided valuable leadership for students as well. "Cathy Alper was instrumental in making sure we learned the skills we needed to succeed in the workforce," Justin says, "And, I really enjoyed the job shadowing opportunities Ms. Alper and the rest of the guidance department help put together for us."
Upon graduation from Crooms AoIT, Justin decided to attend Seminole State College (SSC). SSC allowed Justin to weigh his options outside of information technology just in case he decided the field was not for him. At the same time, the career-centered focus of SSC also allowed him to earn more IT industry certifications than he would of at a state university. The smaller class size and individualized attention was reminiscent of Crooms, while the larger student body provided more involvement opportunities. At first Justin was hesitate about getting involved, but SSC staff member Mauricio Garcia challenged him to get involved. "Mauricio helped rekindle my spark in community involvement," Justin explains, "One of the first activities I got involved in was SSC Volunteer. This club built upon the teamwork skills I learned under Coach Perkins while also allowing me to learn about the surrounding community through volunteer work." Justin was also involved with the Leadership Challenge Team – where he led leadership classes for SSC students – and was the Vice President of the African American Leadership Council.
After two years, Justin made the transition to the University of Central Florida where he majored in Information Systems Technology. Extracurricular activities would again play a big role in his time at UCF, and in his career path. He was a member of the Burnett Honors College, the co-ed professional honors fraternity Delta Epsilon Iota, and the engineering honors fraternity Tau Beta Pi (where he served as the social activities chair). He even served as a Student Senator in UCF’s Student Government Association. Yet, perhaps his most important involvement was with the UCF chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Justin served as the programs chair and as the President of the NSBE chapter. "To increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community. That is NSBE's motto, and that is exactly where the organization succeeds," Justin proudly declares, "Even after a couple years of being out of UCF, I am still aware of the impact NSBE had on my life, and I can see the leaders the UCF chapter continues to create each time I visit."
Justin's involvement led to an internship at Goldman Sachs during the summer of 2008 where he worked in the network attached storage team doing performance management. This required him to use statistics to identify key performance metrics. After his Goldman internship, Justin decided to reach out to the UCF Career Center for more professional experience. This led to a nearly 2 year internship with Orland-based HostDime.com as a server analyst. At HostDime, Justin worked on customer engagement for clients around the globe.
The biggest breakthrough came at graduation when Justin landed a position with the Johnson & Johnson's Information Technology Leadership Development Program (ITLDP). The program is a 19-month opportunity given to rising stars in the IT sector where workers rotate through the corporate, pharmaceutical, medical devices & diagnostics, and consumer sectors. These young leaders work within the IT department for their respective sectors. Justin's first rotation started in June 2010 with the corporate sector. There he worked on performance reporting and even developed a plan to improve on future system metrics. During the duration of the program, J&J continues to offer training on soft-skills and various areas of technology. Within the program, Justin has been able to gain experience within the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. In late 2011, Justin received an offer to transition from the Leadership Development Program to a permanent position with the pharmaceutical sector where he is now working with the field reporting team. At this time, he is helping to roll out analytics applications for J&J's iPad and Xoom users.
- What do you think of companies using social media?
Companies are looking to use social media as a way to maximize interactions with customers. However, FDA regulations pose a challenge. For instance, if a negative comment is posted about a drug or treatment regiment, companies have to fully document and respond to these complaints. The FDA hasn't provided full guidance on this issue yet, so many companies are taking the necessary precautions to ensure they are covered for any potential ruling on the matter.
The consumer sector presents a multitude of opportunities to advertise due to the nature of social media, which is a popular way for consumers to engage with each other. Social media allows companies to develop a continuous relationship with the customer, while allowing companies to identify customer needs. With the help of social media, companies can be able to provide discount codes, gather feedback, and track trends. From a competitive advantage standpoint, the availability of information allows companies to quickly learn what competitors are doing and adjust their campaigns appropriately. Overall, social media is a game changer; once companies learn how to use it appropriately, they can gain market share while also remaining prevalent in people's lives. You would be amazed at how much information is out there and the type of data mining that could be done with social media alone.
- What do you see as the next big trend in social media?
Being mobile is key. Anything that allows people to easily and freely share information while on the go is going to be successful. Companies are seeing this trend with their field representatives, for instance. There are also other avenues for social media besides Facebook and Twitter. When I think of social media, I think of knowledge sharing: it could be a SharePoint, Wiki, Blog, or anything else. The next big point is going to be those hardware and software innovations that allow us to easily share data in a mobile fashion and for that information shared to be of value. You can see this trend now with cloud products and tablets.
Aside from social media, the cloud is going to be your leading trend. Many companies are doing testing with cloud expansion right now. Companies are limited in regulated fields, but in the consumer sector, the cloud is allowing companies to create infrastructure in countries that they otherwise would not have data centers in, therefore allowing them to better serve those areas without making a large capital investment.
- Any other extracurriculars or side projects?
I am taking part in mentoring program with youth in the New Jersey area. Having mentors in my youth was extremely important. The group I am involved with is the Princetonian Group here in Princeton, New Jersey and we cater to middle school and high school males.
- Are there any end goals in mind for you?
I definitely want to go back to school for an MBA degree. J&J is a great company that provides employees with the opportunity to gain further education with company assistance if we so choose. My options beyond that are pretty open at the moment but I know that I would like to remain within the IT field.
- Why did you decide to join The Founders Society?
My investment in The Founders Society allows someone else to reach their dreams, just as I have. Crooms AoIT has done so much for me that I thought joining The Founders Society is the least I could do. I have met some amazing people and made some life-long friends that I have kept in touch with because of my time at Crooms. Plus, the amazing faculty and staff made a big impact by investing their time and resources in us.
- Any other parting thoughts you would like to leave us with?
Regardless of whether you are involved or not in extracurricular activities, take advantage of your times at Crooms. You have a responsibility and obligation to uphold the legacy of Crooms Academy. Ultimately, the point of life is to leave a legacy behind. Make sure you are doing your part to uphold that legacy and allow others to say they are proud of Crooms Academy.
- What do you see as the next big trend in social media?
Updated: January 29, 2012
The Founders Society was established in 2011 to recognize the Crooms AoIT Alumni Association's most generous benefactors. These individuals, couples, or companies have made significant one-time contributions during our capital fundraising periods for the advancement of Crooms AoIT. Society members are sending a message that philanthropic support of Crooms AoIT and the current student body is vital to our alma mater's future success. Their financial support is changing lives and helps promote a culture of community support and involvement. To learn more about The Founders Society visit www.croomsalumni.com/about/founders.