Name: Sara Challab
Title: Site Reliability Engineering Developer
Company Name: Morgan Stanley
Program of Study: DEC in Computer Science Technology - Programming
Graduation Year: June 2019
A recent graduate in Programming, Sara now works at Stanley Morgan, a global leader in the financial services industry. She holds a position as a developer where she has important responsibilities and faces exciting IT challenges every day!
We invite you to discover more about her background and her experience at LaSalle College.
1. What title do you currently hold and what are your main functions?
I am a developer at Morgan Stanley. On a daily basis, my tasks consist in optimizing the systems by automating certain tasks. I also do emergency support and troubleshooting of some computer applications that are under the responsibility of my team. In addition, I respond to the daily needs of modifications and development work that are assigned to me.
2. Describe a typical day in your professional life.
Every day is different from the last. I deal with new projects every day and I find the analysis work very stimulating. I am constantly in ‘’solution’’ and ‘’optimization’’ mode.
3. Describe your career path.
My academic background is very diversified. I obtained a degree in Chemical Engineering in Algeria. Then, I went on to earn an MBA in Management. When I had the opportunity to come to Montreal, I decided to try Computer Science since it was a field that always appealed to me. During my studies, I managed to get a job as a Webmaster in an insurance brokerage company. Upon graduation, I got a job as a Programmer Analyst at Desjardins where I spent two years before becoming a Development Consultant for Morgan Stanley.
4. What is your fondest memory while studying at LaSalle College?
I have many! I have met many people from different backgrounds who have had a positive impact on my vision of life. I was also part of the LaSalle College Entrepreneurs Club, which was a great experience. We organized a video game tournament and won 3rd place in the Quebec Entrepreneur Club Competition in Drummondville.
5. What was your favorite subject while studying at LaSalle College? Are you applying this today to your current career?
My favorite subject was Web Development. It allowed me to practice my creative side, as the possibilities of project development are endless. I started to take an interest in it and learn it before I studied it in class which allowed me to start working in this field before I finished my studies.
6. Do you have any interesting anecdotes to share?
I was working on a personal project that I was developing after school. I submitted it to the scholarship selection process for the Quebec Private Colleges for international students, along with a cover letter where I spoke from the heart. I was very happy when I was told I had won the scholarship.
7. What was your general feeling and first impression when you started out at LaSalle College?
It was a new life for me, a new beginning, and a source of opportunity.
8. What surprised you the most when you arrived on the workforce?
It's actually very different from what you study in school. Once you get into the practical side of the business, you start by using what you've learned at the beginning and then very quickly, you realize that you must remain up to date and adjust to the business. You're never ready, you only really learn when you jump in, every day.
9. What advice would you offer to a student currently enrolled in the same program you took or to your younger self?
To be curious, to work hard, and to start and develop your own IT projects. The field is very vast, and one cannot master all of them. The best is to choose the one you prefer and to excel in it.
10. What are the qualities necessary to succeed in your field?
Love what you do and continue to learn even outside of school.
11. Who are your role models and why?
The women in my life are my inspirational role models. My mother, my sister, and Nariman Mansour, who was one of my teachers at LaSalle College, are all women I admire and who have guided me in my life. They are strong, determined, positive, intelligent, and entrepreneurial women, they don't back down from anything, they have dual strength, they achieve their goals while taking care of the people around them.
12. Anything you would like to add that would be inspiring to our next generation?
We all have a talent or a passion. It's that thing we are good at and love to do. You must take the time to find that thing and develop it repeatedly. Whatever it is, for me, it's the best way to succeed in life. Be passionate about what you do!