At Amazon: Data Center Technician
Cacciotti, who will graduate in December, got his job at Amazon through a friend of a friend who connected Cacciotti with a hiring manager. Hired first as a contractor, Cacciotti became what he calls “a real Amazon employee” in September 2018.
Thank goodness, he says, that Mason offers so many online courses.
“I’m not just trying but succeeding in only doing online courses,” Cacciotti says. “Once I got this job, I kind of delayed my graduation by taking fewer classes a semester because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself.”
Cacciotti has varied tasks at Amazon’s Ashburn, Virginia, office, including servicing and diagnosing hardware problems and determining and repairing faults in fiber paths. He says his classes at Mason were the perfect training ground.
“Most of my classes in the IT major  touched on hardware and what it does. And I took a networking class that was almost exclusively on fiber,” he says. “I was able to demonstrate that knowledge in the interview [with Amazon] and in my work.”
That said, it was the totality of the Mason experience that Cacciotti believes set him up for success.
For example, his capstone project, which he led for a semester, implemented a paid-time-off and work-space reservation system for a local company and was a real-world endeavor that provided leadership and teamwork experience.
“Having the ability to take online classes has freed up so many opportunities for me,” he says. “Without that, I would be at a huge disadvantage. It would be, like, ‘Decide whether you want to stay in school or keep this job,’ and I don’t want to be in that position.”
Especially with Amazon’s new headquarters already under construction.
“I think it’s going to provide a lot of opportunities for current Amazon employees like myself,” Cacciotti says. “My dream job is somewhere in HQ2. I just have to keep working toward it.”