Alum Spotlight, NY Edition: David Vaccarello

City Guy at Heart

David Vaccarello, Technical Recruiter at TEKsystems

Dave image

David Vaccarello, a class of 2012 International Affairs graduate knew from the beginning that he would end up in “the big city”. Growing up in North Jersey, he saw NYC as a place where he wanted to live throughout his twenties and grow his career. In January of his senior year at JMU, Dave used the resources available through JMU Employer Relations and Recruiting Services and began a vigorous interview process with TEKsystems, a Global IT Services Organization in NYC. The process consisted of a phone interview, an on-campus interview with an Internal Recruiter and two interviews in the NYC office with TEKsystem’s director and several employees. After completing this process, Dave was offered a Technical Recruiter position. Although he had initial concerns about the inflated cost of living in Manhattan, Dave accepted the offer. He made the necessary living arrangements and recalls, “I knew that living at home coupled with diligent savings would afford me the opportunity to move into the city after a short while. I’ve been living in the city for seven months now and the experience has been amazing”.

Among several characteristics of TEKsystems, Dave particularly enjoys the company atmosphere. He says, “The culture and opportunity were what stood out to me the most while pursuing a career with TEKsystems. My co-workers in the NYC office are energetic and competitive individuals, ranging from college graduates to seasoned professionals. I consider all of them my colleagues and my friends. We come to work every day knowing that we have the opportunity to give ourselves a raise. An opportunity at financial comfort for ourselves and the loved ones we provide for”. Dave also notes that some elements of his career are particularly rewarding. “My job is to find someone else gainful employment.  It’s gratifying to know that I’m also helping others and not just myself”.

Since launching his career at TEKsystems, Dave has embraced the city life. He notes however, that living in a large city such as NYC comes with commitment and endurance. He says, “A young professional in any city needs to work hard, early and often. As twenty-somethings, most of us do not have the same responsibilities as our co-workers in their thirties and forties. Significant others, children and other pressing familial commitments are not quite on our radar. As a result we can focus more on our careers… that motivates me to sacrifice now rather than later on.” While Dave is committed to this demanding lifestyle, he still enjoys what the city life has to offer. He says, “I assure you, I’m still having plenty of fun.”

Dave has found a career that he is passionate about, and wants the same for students of his alma mater. For soon-to-be JMU graduates, he offers three pieces of valuable advice:

1. Do your homework: Research the company you’re interviewing with, know their history and organizational progression. If you have the name of the person interviewing you, look them up on LinkedIn. Taking initiative and showing enthusiasm are the most important things any candidate can do.

2. To be early is to be on time: If you have an 8AM interview be waiting in the lobby by 7:45AM. If an email needs to be sent, do it at 6:30AM. Most people have to be at work by 8:30AM or earlier and they’re already checking messages on their phone during their commute.

3. A firm handshake and a hand-written “thank you” note will never go out of style: Learn how to do both well.”

Dave has shared real-world advice for navigating your future! One of the most important things he has shared is that you have access to all of the same resources that he took advantage of as a student through JMU Career and Academic Planning. To learn more about how CAP can help you on your own career journey, visit

To learn more about careers at TEKsystems, go to


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