Ghansham Persaud: Onward + Upward
Ghansham Persaud: Onward + Upward
Feb 5, 2020
The DAVIS logo was created with the onward + upward ethos in mind. It is both our legacy and our vision for the future. We're interviewing 20 people in '20 to find out what onward + upward means to them (along with some other interesting details you might not pick up on at the jobsite). Keep up with this series to get more insight into the DAVIS team!
Meet Ghansham Persaud, aka GP, an Information Systems Engineer at DAVIS.
Q: Have you always gone by GP?
A: It started at a previous job because people found my name hard to pronounce, but it's kind of catchy, so it stuck.
KEEPING IT PROFESSIONAL
Q: How did you get to this point in your career?
A: At first, I was taking civil engineering classes. I took a programming elective just to see how it went, and it turned out that computer science and coding ended up being really interesting to me, even though I think I have a love-hate relationship with it.
Q: What's that relationship like?
A: The most simple solutions can be the most frustrating. You might spend a couple of hours looking for one comma or semi-colon causing a coding error. I love it, though, because it's like a new language to me. Learning to code gives you a better understanding of what goes on behind a piece of software. There's so much underlying code in our technology. I just think it looks so cool.
Q: How would you explain your job to a child?
A: Okay. Say you have a bunch of leaky water bottles in front of you. That's like a system error. You want to make sure to stop those leaks - maybe you put some tape on them. What we do in ISE (Information Systems Engineering) is not just tape the leaks up, but try to find the cause of the leak so that we can prevent it from happening again.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in ISE?
A: Get hands-on experience wherever you can. If it's an internship, use that time to physically get into the work, because that's how you build your skills. Watching it happen is one thing, but making it happen is different. I've seen techs struggle, and I've struggled myself, trying to implement something after only reading or watching something about it.
Q: What do you like about working at DAVIS?
A: The team, the people, the culture. Everyone knows they're part of a big team, and their role is important. I love looking back and seeing what we accomplished together.
Q: What drives you when you're at work?
A: I just want to make an impact, whether it's small or big. With anything I do, I feel like I have to put my best foot forward. I may be a bit of a perfectionist, but that keeps me in check. My mindset is - whatever it takes, I'll get it done.
Q: If you weren't an information systems engineer, you would be a ________. (Fill in the blank)
A: Civil or mechanical engineer. I've always liked figuring out how something works, getting into the physics behind it. I grew up with all kinds of machines to get my hands into—cars, bikes, whatever. If it has wheels, I'll take it. I've had a motorcycle for four years now.
GP hits the asphault on his bike at Summit Point Motorsports Park in Summit Point, West Virginia – June 2019
Q: Let's talk about your motorcycle hobby.
A: When you're out there on a bike, you have all this power at the flick of your wrist. The engine is right there, and you can hear the pop and gargle of the exhaust. You can feel each turn you take—I love the lean. I know this sounds cliché, but it really takes your mind off of everything.
Q: Where do you ride?
A: On the road, I'm the type of guy who will just sit in traffic. I don't go in between cars or anything. I've seen people in cars get angry at bikers who do that kind of stuff, but I just try to get from Point A to Point B. But I ride on the track, too, at Summit Point Park. It's safe there because we're all going the same direction, and nobody wants to get hurt. I can take sharp turns on the track—the types of turns where your pegs are scraping the ground and your knees are right there with them.
Q: Are you an adrenaline junkie?
A: No, I don't think so. As a bike rider, you have to know your limit. At the end of the day, your actions might hurt you or somebody else. I used to hit high speeds, and it was fun, but as you mature, you think differently. You can't have speed without control.
LET'S GET PERSONAL
Q: Where are you from?
A: Guyana - it's in South America.
Q: What would you do if you won the lottery?
A: Pay off the mortgage and my student loans. I'd also buy my dad an SUV.
Q: Where do you want to travel?
A: Australia, Japan, India, Pakistan. I'm not a "go to Bora Bora and sit on the beach" guy. I like to connect with local cultures and find the food that most people can't stomach.
Q: Is there anything you won't eat?
A: Nope. I want one of those octopus dishes where the tentacles are still moving in the bowl.
Q: What music do you like?
A: I'm not really into most newer stuff, besides Drake. I like 50 Cent, Ja Rule, Ashanti, Bow Wow. But I also like the classics - Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole. I also really like the songs from Grease, one of my favorite movies. In Guyana, we listen to a lot of Caribbean music: dancehall, soca, or reggae.
Q: Finally, what does "Onward + Upward" mean to you?
A: To me, it means as a team, we keep going until we finish. Even if we make mistakes along the way, we're not failing. My mindset is - keep pushing yourself.
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