By Becca Bona
VCC’s Chief Technology Officer Jerry Horani truly loves his job. He got a jumpstart at UALR studying computer science and exploring student resources such as the Cooperative Education Program.
Jerry Horani, VCC’s Chief Technology Officer, can honestly draw his interest in the field of technology back to his teens. A lover of both math and physics, Horani decided early on the direction of his career path.
“Believe it or not, I made the decision to study computer science when I was 16 years old and I never changed it,” he said.
Originally from Jordan, Horani came to the US to study in the early 2000s. He credits his family for putting UALR on his radar.
“My uncle has lived here since the 90s and his two sons went to UALR,” he explained.
When the opportunity to study presented itself, Horani said yes.
“[My uncle] offered me the opportunity to come study [here],” he said.
After taking an intensive language course, he began his study in the Computer Science program.
Having decided his career path early on, Horani was especially impressed by the resources that UALR offers its students. Those resources are part of the reason that Horani has landed his current position at VCC.
“The good thing about UALR is that you get introduced to a lot of people in a working environment,” he explained. In particular he thought back to a school assignment that lead him to VCC: “There were a lot of projects where we had to pick companies and go research for school,” he said, and he chose VCC.
Looking back, he felt he made the right choice for that first project, namely, his current working environment couldn’t be better.
“VCC is a great company,” he explained. “I’ve always loved the ITT field and the construction management field. We’re not just a construction company, we develop construction management solutions as well,” he said.
After his first project he was able to secure an internship at the company through UALR’s notable Cooperative Education program. Horani remembers spending a lot of time with Michael Yang in the placement office, who helped Horani fill out the paperwork to get VCC on board as an acceptable employer with UALR credit hours attached.
These days, UALR interns still grace the doors of VCC. “We got VCC signed up and that opened the door to a lot of UALR internships here,” said Horani.
Horani currently oversees all VCC IT as well as Endeavor sales. Endeavor is software developed by VCC, that changes the process for team managed projects. Horani loves his job, and one of his main duties is to oversee the IT team.
“I tell my them, you have to come to work and you have to think about having a career, because then you never get bored,” he said.
Bass Pro Shop is the newest on the list of exciting things to come out of VCC that Horani has been working on. “We build for them in a lot of states and they are doing a lot of nice hands on stuff. You go into the store and you feel like you’re living the experience of whatever you’re trying to accomplish, “ he said.
This past October marks Horani’s 11th year as a resident in Central Arkansas and he couldn’t be happier. He and his wife are expecting a baby soon, and the news suits him well. “Little Rock is a good place to raise a family, there’s a lot of wonderful kids activities,” he said with a smile.All in all, UALR helped Horani to achieve his dreams of success in the computer science field. His enthusiasm for his job is contagious, and his mantra is one that anyone from any field can find inspiration in: “If you love what you do, you can be creative you can come up with new ways to do things and excel.”