Parker’s Journey to Sampson County IT Was Full Circle

Viking Spotlight 2020 03 02 parkers journey to sampson county it was full circle

Growing up, Brendan Parker loved computers and video games. As he grew older, he began tinkering on his personal computer. He found that he loved finding a problem with his computer and trying to solve it. His interest with problem solving and understanding the ins and outs of technology continued to grow. After graduating from Midway High School, Parker chose to put his “tinkering” to good use and chose to study Computer Information Technology and Information Systems Technology at Sampson Community College. His passion started when he was young, and it never stopped.  

At SCC, Parker discovered that he was only scratching the surface when it came to his knowledge of computers and other technology. He recalled, “There were times it was difficult in school because there is so much more to computers than what I knew from just tinkering with my computer.”

For those difficult moments, Parker says he was fortunate to have the guidance of instructors like Nathan McKee, who encouraged him to stay focused, but also directed him through more daunting concepts.

Parker works on a project in his office, reminiscent of the “tinkering” done during his childhood.
(Cheyenne McNeill)

McKee is the Department Chair for Computer Information Technology and Security at SCC and recalled Parker’s natural inclination for information technology. McKee stated, “I remember Brendan as a very smart and motivated student. He was one of my very tech savvy students and seemed to love Information Technology.” McKee shared that Parker’s motivation was evident in his academic performance as well.

After graduating, Parker began to study for a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from North Carolina A&T University. He knew that he wanted to continue working with computers, it’s one thing that has stayed constant. Parker stated, “I really enjoy troubleshooting computer problems because it’s like solving a puzzle.”

He also worked part time at Computer Center in Dunn during that time. The hands-on experience that Parker gained at the repair shop after graduating from SCC allowed him to apply what he had learned and to hone his skills.

A week before graduation, the Sampson County Department of Social Services hired Parker as a Computing Support Technician II.  Parker says this was his first “real” job. There, Parker was able to work in individual and group environments and saw his computer skills advance even more.

Regina McNeill, Computer Systems Administrator II at Sampson County DSS and Parker’s former supervisor, said his attention to detail showed his dedication to his work and made him an asset she hated to lose.

McNeill remarked, “Brendan was always willing to assist in any way possible within our IT Department, even if it meant helping a coworker.  In fact, he would often observe and know specific users and their needs, sometimes he would show up early to assist them, even before he was called.”

After less than a year at the Sampson County DSS, Parker heard of an opening at the Sampson County IT Department and submitted his application. A few weeks later, he submitted his two-week notice at DSS.

Though he’s only been in his new position for about a month, Parker says his knowledge has already expanded. That’s what he loves about working in technology. “There’s always something new to learn, the field is constantly changing.”

From Sampson Community College, to the Sampson County Department of Social Services, to the Sampson County IT Department. For Brendan Parker everything has come “full circle.”

Brendan Parker works at his desk in his shared office at the Sampson County IT Department. (Cheyenne McNeill)

About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education.