Crystal Marks currently resides in Dallas, Texas, where she is an Enterprise Systems Architect at the Dallas Cowboys Football Club.
What brought you to TAMS?
My best friend in high school applied and suggested I join her (then she didn’t get accepted but I did...awkward!).
What did you enjoy most about your time at TAMS?
Feeling normal for the first time in my high school life. Finally it wasn’t strange to enjoy math!
How did your experience at UNT and TAMS shape your career path?
Having TAMS on my resume definitely shaped my career path in many ways, it was a talking point in every interview for the first few years.
What was the most valuable lesson – inside or outside the classroom – that you learned at UNT and TAMS?
I learned to follow the rules! I was from a small town so the teachers all knew us and our families very well so I could get away with small infractions but TAMS taught me that I shouldn’t count on that in a new environment. Curfew is serious!
What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?
I stayed at UNT and continued to teach Astronomy 101 at our outdoor observatory. I also started my first IT job in Carrollton, TX after taking a Windows proficiency exam where I supported MSN dialup service and advanced to a multi-vendor group where I assisted users with any number of services and products including E-Readers, Kiss Online (yes the band), and Dell Printers to name a few.
Please share a memorable moment or experience from your time at UNT and TAMS.
I really enjoyed a game of Capture the Flag that we played across the whole campus. Fry Street was one of the boundaries and the Rec Center was the other. It went well into the evening.
How would you describe UNT, TAMS, and Denton?
UNT, TAMS, and Denton were a very safe and secluded time for me when I didn’t watch TV or pay attention to the news, I was present in school with other students who shared most of my interests.
If you could back and do it all again, would you still attend TAMS? What would you do differently, if anything, during your time as a student?
I would definitely attend TAMS again if given the chance. It was the right place for me to be at the right time, but now I would change my study habits and priorities to make sure I didn’t stress as much.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
My greatest professional accomplishment has been 7 years at the Dallas Cowboys Organization because we strive to be the best in our industry and only the best employees can make it this long. I’m proud of all of the work I’ve done here and the relationships I have with my colleagues.
What advice/insight do you have for TAMS alumni and students interested in your field?
For TAMS alumni and students interested in the IT field, I recommend that you start by solving your own computer problems by researching them online. Make up your mind to become an expert on something like Office 365 or Java, then pick another product, and continue on until you have an impressive set of skills to start job hunting with.