Employee Spotlight: Yaw Acheampong, Senior Systems Engineer

Born in Washington D.C., Yaw went to Montgomery College in Germantown, Maryland, before transferring to Towson University near Baltimore, Maryland.

During college, he learned about Cetrom through his sister-in-law. She worked as a tech at the help desk, and he interned in her position from 6 p.m. to midnight “in case anyone called in.” He spent most of his nighttime internship writing college papers and studying.

Yaw graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information technology because he always read articles and followed the industry.

“Technology has always grown,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s always going to be around. It’s a solid career.”

And a great career choice it was.

He got a job at Cetrom as a systems engineer, which meant he now worked during the day. This schedule shift exposed him to more clients, other employees, and on-the-job training, which was “easier than reading about it or watching videos.”

“It was a lot to take in,” Yaw said. “After awhile, you get used to it. It was night and day.”

The 8-year Cetrom veteran is currently a senior system engineer, in which he “implements new technologies in our environment.”

“I like [that] ability,” he said. “We’re not really locked down to doing things a certain way. They give us a shot and let us test [new programs] out,” especially if it benefits everyone.

Yaw also helps train less experienced computer engineers, a vital position due to the company’s vast growth in the last few years.

“It’s definitely been a roller coaster,” he said. “It’s been a great ride. We’ve been doing a lot more, bringing more people on. It’s crazy to see how small we were seven years ago to where we are now. It’s been a lot of fun.”

His professional hopes include continued success for Cetrom.

“I…hope we continue to get bigger and grow,” he said. Steps toward this growth include keeping existing clients and getting more bright-eyed engineers.

As for his advice to those future engineers?

“[Don’t] stay specific to one piece of technology or infrastructure,” he said. “Learn a little bit of everything to make yourself more diverse in technology and different systems.”

His job isn’t all work and no play, though. Yaw took the time to answer a few fun questions about his favorite superhero, his ideal dinner with a historical figure, and his go-to items for survival on a deserted island:  

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

“Spider-Man. I think he’s the coolest superhero ever.”

If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?

“The Montgomery County Legend. It’s the only thing that came to my head! That’s funny. It’s the only thing I could think.”

If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and why?

“Anyone from history? That’s a good one. I’d…say [Martin Luther King Jr.]. I’d…want to sit there and ask him questions about why he did what he did, how he was brave enough to do it, a big why he decided to take the man on when a lot of people were afraid to.”

What is your favorite movie?

Remember The Titans. Denzel [Washington] is one of my favorite actors. He makes the movie interesting to me. I watch it every time I see it on TV.”

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

“Galapagos Islands. I really like blue water, and every time I see that place, it looks awesome. You see the marine life. I’d like to go scuba diving there.”

What three items would you bring to a deserted island?

“A sleeping bag, a fire starter, and mosquito net. I hate bugs.”