In tune with his future
Alex' fluency in English enabled him to land a job as a delivery driver. He was also able to supplement his earnings as a musician, playing primarily for social events in the local Russian community such as weddings and birthday parties.
In 1992 Alex decided that opportunities might be better in the North, so he moved to the Detroit area.
Although he had little knowledge of computers, he decided that information technology would be a good field to pursue.
He began by signing up for basic word processing and keyboarding classes at Ferndale's Clinton Adult Education Center. Eventually, he enrolled in computer classes at Oakland Community College. In June, 2000 Alex graduated from OCC with an associate degree in computer information systems. Studying on his own, he has also successfully tested out as a Microsoft Certified Professional.
This year Alex was hired by OCC as a Web Technologies Specialist. His job consists of creating, maintaining and updating the college's web pages. He also assists faculty and staff members in developing new informational websites for their departments. His services are in high demand, says Alex, "and it's work I enjoy."
But Alex' music training hasn't gone to waste - he continues to compose arrange and record in his spare time. Last year he produced a CD of his own work entitled "Nostalgia". The disc consists of instrumental selections, which he describes as "smooth jazz". Alex performed each piece, laying down tracks for as many as sixteen different instruments via computer to produce the final blend.
Recently, he also created and performed background music for a promotional video about Oakland Community College which is used by the OCC Foundation in its fundraising efforts.
What does the future hold for Alex? Most immediately, he and wife Natasha are expecting their first baby in September. Beyond that, Alex is studying to become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer through OCC's Orchard Ridge Campus Business Technology Center. Eventually, he plans to enroll at a local university to earn his bachelor's degree in information technology. "Music will always be an important part of my life," Alex says, "but my future is in computers."