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NOVA National Engineer's Month Spotlight, Nicolas Height

Nicolas Height

Nicolas Height worked in restaurant kitchens for six years. It was during the height of the pandemic, after being furloughed, Height decided to look for ways to get out of the service industry. After connecting with a technology industry leader on LinkedIn, Height decided to give NOVA’s Data Center Operations program a try.

Tell us about your background.

I originally started working in kitchens, and I did that for about six years. From there I moved back up here to start classes at NOVA. I am from sterling VA, and I started my Data Center Operations studies in Fall of 2021. When I started at NOVA, I moved to working part time in the construction field.  Then with just a couple of months in the Data Center Operations program, I was able to leave and work as an engineer for Aligned Energy. I now love my current job. 

What brought you to NOVA?

It was actually during the middle of the pandemic and I had gotten furloughed. I was sitting at home thinking about ways to get out of the kitchen. I went on LinkedIn and talked to Matt Beckman at NTT, and he was telling me about jobs in the data center industry. He told me that, “if I did two years at NOVA, I could start in this field at 85k.”

What are you studying or plan to study at NOVA?

After hearing advice from industry professionals, I decided to start at NOVA’s Data Center Operations program.  

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?

“Work hard, be proactive, take the initiative and see it through.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself as either as a data center facility manager with passive income.

Tell Us About Your Experience at NOVA; ie, professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met 😊

I would say thanks to my classmates who helped me. And now, since I am already working in the industry, I can in return give some of my knowledge to my other classmates to get them on the path to where they want to be.

My biggest shoutout goes to my professor Amir Mehmood, associate professor of information and engineering technologies.

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the largest public institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls nearly 80,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield (Medical Education Campus) and Woodbridge, through NOVA Online and high school dual enrollment. We offer more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs to help our students reach their academic and professional goals through university transfers and access to the most in-demand careers. At NOVA, we strive to ensure that every student succeeds, every program achieves and every community prospers. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, visit our website, www.nvcc.eduor call 703.323.3000.