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Alum Fredrick Dande Builds IT Networking
Career from Solid MCCC Roots


West Windsor, N.J. - Installing computer software for family and friends was a hobby for Fredrick Dande '04 (Computer Systems and Network Administration). As demand for his services grew, he thought, "Why not turn what I love to do into a career?" Today, he is doing just that on a highly sophisticated level as a senior systems administrator at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Philadelphia's largest financial services firm.

Dande's goal is to ensure that all computer systems are up and running so that employees are able to proactively serve clients' financial needs. "IT infrastructure has a lot of critical systems that need to be functional at all times, even during system failures. That's where I come in," Dande said. "Being able to make several systems 'talk' to each other to provide seamless operation is not an easy job. The challenge gives me immense satisfaction. I enjoy problem solving."

Dande began his formal training at Mercer in 2001 right after many dot-com businesses crashed as a result of over-speculation and bad business decisions. Seeking a two-year degree to gain expertise quickly, he enrolled at MCCC, drawn by both its highly-regarded technology programs and affordability. His academic foundation included courses in IT security, networking, programming and systems administration, configuration and architecture, and more.

Fredrick Dande '04

"At Mercer, I realized just how I could fit into the industry," recalled Dande, who was named to the Dean's Kist and selected for Who's Who Among America's Junior Colleges. "Mercer's program was very thorough and detailed. Its computer labs are well-equipped to mimic real world corporate problems."

In addition to his academic achievement, Dande also credits Mercer with helping him become a leader, which has enabled him to excel in the workforce. He served as a Student Government Association (SGA) senator and Computer Club president. He was a member of the Student Activities Board and attended student leadership conferences.

Dande hungered for more learning and transferred to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in 2004, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Engineering Technology in 2006. While at NJIT, he landed a desktop analyst position at the now defunct Lehman Brothers global financial services firm in Jersey City. He earned a master's degree in Technology Management from NJIT in 2008 while working as a systems administrator at Albridge Solutions, a wealth management services firm based in Lawrenceville.

Happy in his present role at Janney, Dande looks forward to more opportunities in management. "I have the education and know-how to manage a dynamic group, foster productivity, retain employees, and produce a sound budget," he said. He is currently pursuing an MBA via the University of Massachusetts at Amherst online.

Dande traces the roots of his success back to MCCC. Recalling faculty members Winston Maddox, Leroy Wilkerson, and Jeffrey Weichert and staff members Marilyn Pender and Barbra Campbell, he said, "I really felt part of a vibrant learning community because I had close interaction with everyone. They cared about my overall development."

He concludes, "If I had to do it all over again, I would not change anything. My best advice for everyone is to get involved in campus life and learn from others."

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