Jeremy Cooper is a professional firefighter. Every day, he helps his coworkers cope with the innumerable workplace emergencies that threaten both their sanity and productivity. If your printer won’t print, your software won’t update, or the company firewall snags a work-critical website, Cooper quickly responds with a patient, problem-solving mentality that can extinguish even the nastiest of IT fires.

“I love what I do. There are stressful days for sure, but I really enjoy getting to solve problems and work with electronics all day,” said Cooper

As a Computer Technician at Vacuum Technology Incorporated (VTI), Cooper wears many hats. In addition to performing day-to-day network maintenance, Cooper—alongside his teammate and fellow technician, Jeff Wright—ensures VTI safeguards its data with the latest anti-viral software and uses state-of-the-art hardware to operate its servers. He also provides customer support, maintains VTI’s phone and intercom system, and works with VTI’s engineering and fabrication staff to make sure they have the digital tools they need to design and build world-leading industrial vacuum equipment.

“No two days are the same, which suits me just fine. I’m always on my feet helping people around the office, and I’d much rather be doing that than sitting at a desk all day,” said Cooper.

Cooper has worked at VTI for six years. Prior to that, he worked as a contractor and electrical technician, wiring commercial and domestic construction projects for a number of different companies. But even when he worked construction, Cooper was always rebuilding computers on the side and disassembling electronics just to see what made them tick.

“Playing with computers was just sort of a hobby at the time. And then one day I was like, ‘This is what I want to be doing.’ And so I decided to go back to school,” Cooper said.

Cooper was still studying Computer Science when he interviewed for the Computer Technician position at VTI. His positive attitude, passion for technology, and genuine curiosity impressed VTI’s leadership team, and they decided to bring him onboard before he’d even finished his degree.

“I still had six weeks of coursework to go when I started at VTI. They needed a geek, someone who wasn’t scared to take on challenging technology problems, and that’s exactly the kind of role I was looking for,” said Cooper.

Cooper says that VTI has the unique advantage of being a small company that solves big problems. His coworkers and supervisors treat him like family, but the custom vacuum systems and components they produce together power global missions, including research into quantum computing and the quest for fusion energy.

“It’s a big company with a small business vibe. I work hard, but I have fun, too. There’s kind of a ‘we’re all in this together’ spirit here,” Cooper said.

At home, Cooper enjoys spending time with his family, practicing guitar, and—of course—building computers.

“Computers are my passion, and getting paid to play with them all day is a pretty awesome feeling,” he said.

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