Tucked away in the HGB are four student Computer Information Systems [CIS] workers who spend their working hours offering free gadget repairs, troubleshooting technology problems and maintaining more than 150 computers that computer science and IT majors use for their classes.
Free campus gadget repairs and troubleshooting
“We, student workers of the CIS Department, are located at HGB 125. We’d love to have you come in if you have anything wrong with your gadgets and take a look at it and fix it. It's totally free of charge,” explained Anant Pratap, a systems consultant for the CIS Department and freshman from Fiji majoring in computer science.
Mostly known only by business and computer science majors, Pratap said they welcome any student who has problems with their computers or gadgets to come to HGB 125 for help.
Ezra To, a senior majoring in accounting from Malaysia, said he has used and enjoyed the free services from the CIS Department. “As students, our budget is limited so it’s always good when the school can provide useful services for free. They helped me, gave me advice and are willing to support anyone with technical issues.”
Pratap said there are four workers from Russia, Sri Lanka, Chicago and Fiji who bring varied backgrounds in computer and gadget maintenance to help students with any gadget problems they may have.
Sula Jayasekara, a senior majoring in IT from Sri Lanka and a technical consultant, described what they do in their daily work at the CIS Department. “We take care of around 150 computers used by computer science and IT students. They have separate programs on their technical advanced computers and computers.
“We are also here to help the students of BYU–Hawaii. If they need help with computer or laptop software and hardware issues, MacBook’s, mobile phones, screen repairs or printers. If people have issues, they are able to come to us and we can fix it.”
Pratap shared they spend a lot of their time helping students as they are always on standby to help. “We help at least 30 students per month with repairs. As for the computers we take care of, they have specific structures in place for their computers. The first hour of every workday we’re checking the computers to make sure the software and hardware are running.”
On the job learning
Working for the CIS Department is a rewarding, experience-gaining role, Pratap shared. “I’m gaining some good job experience from here that will look good on my resume. I’m also able to develop what I know and help people at the same time.”
Pratap explained workers hired are preferred to have some prior experience before coming to the job, but they also learn on the job every day. “We are trained to know how to use the school’s computer systems. For the most part, we have to learn on our own how to operate and repair computers, fix gadgets and other stuff.”
Repair and troubleshooting time vary on a lot of things, Pratap said. “The fastest repair I have been able to do is less than five minutes. The most difficult ones can take about a week. Sometimes if a screen replacement or an order is placed for something it can take longer.”
Jayasekara shared it makes him happy to see customers come and have their gadget and computer problems resolved. “People are so thankful, and I’ve been happy to receive messages from people expressing how we were able to help them. This motivates me to keep developing my knowledge and continue to help people in need.”
Seeing the glow on someone's face after fixing something they haven’t been able to fix is what Pratap enjoys most about his job. “Students especially feel happy to know they don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to fix a computer when we can fix it for them free of charge.”