By Denily Acosta Izzo—
I had the opportunity to participate in the Celts Exploring Business Program with the Cameron School of Business on Sept. 3, visiting Peripheral Computer Support, Inc. and Computer Technology Solutions, LP (PCS-CTS), a computer service and technology company with activities worldwide. It was a great experience to analyze and have a better understanding of a service company regarding business management and supply chains.
I decided to attend this activity because I wanted to explore the real-world business and represent the Cameron School of Business in the Houston community. This way, as a UST student I could have a conversation with a business manager who runs a company with operations around the globe. I had the chance to ask questions about management skills, which was useful for my professional development.
I was part of a group of 10 students from the undergraduate and graduate Business Program at UST. After driving for 40 minutes, we arrived at the PCS-CTS Corporate Headquarters on Windfern Road. in Houston. Richard Van Deventer, the company’s CEO, was responsible for the tour, and he was ready to share his story with us.
He talked about the fusion of PCS and CTS and how, since 1992, PCS-CTS has devoted its business to after-sales service solutions for big companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Dell. The company provides hardware reparations and systems support for mobile phones and PDA’s, monitors, LCD and plasma TVs, printers, digital cameras and other electronic devices. The company has facilities in other areas of Houston, as well as in Singapore. According to Van Deventer, PCS-CTS serves clients all around the world through these offices.
After a brief introduction to PCS-CTS’s main activities, clients and facilities, Van Deventer led us to the warehouses to give us a firsthand look at the business’s daily activities. We entered a huge building full of workers, tools, devices and boxes. Each area was assigned to specific tasks, and each person was closely monitored for their time and the percent completion of their work. Everything was well organized – it gave the impression of a well-made machine. I was amazed by the efficiency of the company.
Most of the devices the company received were repaired in under 24 hours. Since PCS-CTS works with companies worldwide, its business relies on supply chains and prompts delivery. During our tour, we met the company’s founder, who stopped by to give us a welcome greeting. He gave us advice that was key to managing any business: “Work hard and find good people to run your projects.”
The coolest thing about this experience for me was that the CEO took the time to share his personal and professional vision with a group of students. His energy was very contagious and inspiring. He was willing to answer all the questions in the best way to teach us about his job. I got from his attitude that passion is essential to run a business and be a successful manager. I really enjoyed this time in PCS-CTS and meeting Mr. Van Deventer.
I left the company with a better understanding of real-world business services and management processes, and I saw that time management and efficiency are key to any business. I believe, the more opportunities we have to connect with the businesses and the Houston community while we are students, the more experienced and professional we will be at graduation. I strongly recommend this kind of tours, because it gives us the chance to meet with potential employers and talk with people in the business who can give us important advices.
Denily Acosta Izzo
Master in Finance candidate 2015, University of St. Thomas