Bronco Spotlight: Avante Gilstrap
IT Infrastructure Analyst at the State of Michigan
I currently work as an IT infrastructure analyst with the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Our agency is responsible for the regulation and enforcement of Michigan Horse Racing, Charitable Gaming, and non-tribal casinos in Detroit, Michigan. I serve as a technical expert and oversee a variety of analytical and technical assignments for problem diagnosis and solutions. I develop guidelines and upgrade techniques for the support of databases, hardware/software, security, and network systems software.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to implement new technologies that help our employees do their jobs more effectively. When employees have technology that works for them, the entire workplace is better for everyone. The most challenging part of the job is explaining to employees how some technology upgrades are better for the agency as a whole, which sometimes involves training employees who would much rather keep things the same.
If you had a campus job or internship, how did they impact your career development?
While attending WMU, I had an internship at a credit union as an IT Student Intern. This internship got my foot in the door as an IT professional and kick started my career in the field. I hope that every student at WMU has an opportunity for an internship as you will obtain real world experience that cannot be taught in a classroom.
What advice would you offer students to help them decide on a career path?
When trying to decide a career path I think it is important to understand yourself. You will want to choose a field that you can see yourself working in for multiple years. I also want students to know a lot of recent graduates still may not know what path they would like to choose. Don’t feel bad if you are still figuring things out. Life is a journey and things will become more clear as time goes on.