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 Zuerner Pushes Achievement Envelope

By J.S. Martin

"STAY FOCUSED, work efficiently, and don't waste time."

That's the advice junior Josh J. Zuerner offers to the high school students in the computer classes he teaches at Attica (Ind.) Consolidated School Corp.  As a BSIM student who is taking 19 hours of coursework, teaching at and managing information services for the Attica Consolidated School Corp., and running his own computer consulting company, Zuerner knows the value of time management.

Zuerener got involved with computers and entrepreneurship through helping with his family's lawn and garden business in Terra Haute, IN.  "I was around the business from an early age," he says, "so when my father decided to hire someone to put together a computer package to monitor the large volume of inventory the business required, I was able to watch and ask questions. And I was allowed to work on the business network and grow with the software."  

Zuerner says he was lucky early on to have the encouragement and support of teachers and school programs.  By the seventy grade, he helped his science fair teacher convert a science-fair-project evaluation program from DOS to Windows.  "Problem solving is basic to doing the programs, and that's what  I like," Zuerner says. Zuerner has a history of keeping busy.  He says he started writing software in high school through his business, JZ Consulting, based in Terra Haute, IN.  While keeping up with his studies and running the company, he swam for the varsity swim team from his freshman year on and also became active in DECA, An Association of Marketing Students, which provides both in-school and out-of-school educational and leadership development activities for students. His junior year, he won first place in a national DECA competition with a 40-page business plan he'd created, and his senior year, he served as DECA president.

In March 2000, JZ Consulting incorporated to offer software and hardware consulting, planning, implementation, and training.  The company is a Cisco- and Hewlett Packard-authorized reseller, and Zuerner is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.  He has to part-time employees and, when necessary subcontracts work out.  Since entering college, he has focused on software development and usually only accepts projects he can work on from remote locations.  Currently. Zuerner's firm and a partner company are developing an Internet service provider (ISP) management package that integrates the ISP's business and technical data.  "This is the first major selling point of the software," he says, "as it creates on package under which the end customer's connections are serviced only when accounts are current."

Zuerner has also been working part-time with staff and students in the Attica Consolidated School Corp. since August 2000. Las semester, under the supervision of a licensed teacher, he taught a computer programming class. "Some of my students who had last lunch period were upset because the cafeteria often ran out of the advertised menu items by the time they got there.  They created an intranet program that enables homeroom teachers to input student sections each morning for the quantity of each meal offered," he says 

"One cannot say enough good things about Josh," commented Judith Bush, Attica's superintendent of schools.  "The staff has been encouraged to use the technology upgrades he's put into place largely because of his demeanor. Not only is he talented, bright, and knowledgeable, but he's also considerate  and approachable-one of the most mature young men I've had the privilege to meet.  He is genuinely dedicated to serving others, truly a unique individual."

Zuerner says he is enjoying the coursework for his BSIM degree. "I came to Purdue to add to my knowledge of finance and accounting, critical skills that will complement my technical abilities," he says. "I want to enhance my ability to be a top-of-the-line manager, business owner, and corporate executive.  I'm impressed with the faculty, staff, and the school's environment.  There is no doubt that the Krannert School of Management was the right choice."

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