For Employment Adventures class this summer, the students enjoyed a visit with Steve Lazzarini who is the Systems Manager for the CACI Information Technology Company, which specializes in the application of information technology for the legal field. Steve has been working in the field since 1997. He also happens to be our student Michael’s Mortensen’s uncle!

Much of Steve’s work involves organizing a large quantity of electronic data that used to be in paper physical evidence. He works with a large team to make sure it is ready for the court cases and is often inundated with electronic data. Become basis of evidence for court cases. He is often busy gathering important evidence to be put in a mass database, which becomes key documents in court cases.

Just like many people who end up being successful, Steve had to start off with humble beginnings. His very first job was as a paperboy as a junior high school student. After that, he became a dishwasher at a nursing home. Some important lessons learned that stuck with him are being punctual. “By being reliable and showing up every day…it gets the attention of people who are in charge and is rewarded,” Steve explains.

For Steve, entering this field was an accident. He graduated from college with history degree with a goal of earning an internship with the Smithsonian or a local politician. But he did not go forward with this original plan, which led to the amazing career in which he excels now. The original plan was to work for the short term with CACI and eventually attend graduate school. Steve ended up putting off graduate school for 21 years ago and did not end up coming back. But for him this turned out the right path, and that is perfectly alright to carve out our individual journey. As John Lennon eloquently said, “Life happens when you are busy making other plans.”

Steve practices staying organized and taking care of himself to keep up that level of employee readiness. He and his wife like to take walks everyday just to break up the end of the workday. He walks three to five miles everyday to burn off some of the stress of the day.

Found that over the days under normal circumstances he has to maintain an early schedule. Steve prefers to take care of things that he is capable of doing the night before such as laying out work clothes. In terms of health and wellness…he is trying to eat better. In the old days he would have purchased lunch and now he makes lunch at home. Steve has a thirty-five mile commute, which can be a long drag out of the day. It helps for him to take the commuter bus into the city everyday so he does not have to contend with the stress of traffic. A solid plan allows him to get to work early enough.

Steve is kind enough to volunteer at Backpack Buddies. It is for less-advantaged students who do not have enough money to eat well, but are capable of being better students if they had proper nutrition. On the weekends the students and families do not have enough money and do not eat well. He is able to reach out to local businesses to make backpacks with food for students who are in need. It is important to have passions outside of the workplace especially ones that make our society function better.

Two things that Steve wants the students to remember is to always work hard and try to avoid distractions. He adds, “There are so many ways to be distracted.” And when you finish tasks go to supervisors and let them know you are ready for more work. It is easy to not take care of yourself. Get a good night’s rest…take care of your body. Keep working at work and when you are home you are home. It helps keep order and prevents burnout and things that make the job less desirable.”

Thank you for all of your wisdom and time with the students, Steve Lazzarini!