California State University, Northridge alumnus Shawn Ahdoot ’11 (Marketing) not only created an opportunity for himself, but extended it to other CSUN students as well.
As a student dealing with the everyday pressures of trying to earn a degree, Ahdoot also maintained a full-time job. However, he managed to push through his daily challenges, rise in his company and give back by creating internship opportunities for his fellow classmates, some of whom eventually became his co-workers.
Ahdoot, 27, is now a marketing director for that growing company — Colocation America, a server-hosting company based in Las Vegas. He has been part of the team for six and a half years. Since he started, he has applied his knowledge from CSUN to help Colocation America grow from one data center to 22 around the United States.
“It wasn’t overnight,” he said. “It took a lot of hard work, but I always like to set the bar higher to where it normally should be, because I like to push for that extra effort. For every new goal that has been finished, there always has to be another goal to replace it.”
At 16 years old, Ahdoot had familiarized himself with technology and algorithms such as search engine optimization, pay-per-click, web design, online marketing and website hosting. He started a small private company in a garage, where he focused on everything he had taught himself.
Later, he took marketing courses at CSUN, which he said lifted him to another level. While he was earning his degree, Ahdoot learned about Colocation America. He began working for the company in 2009 and after gaining some experience, he wanted to give back to CSUN — so he offered internships to fellow Matadors.
Ahdoot said he believes CSUN students are the right fit for Colocation.
“The way [CSUN faculty] get these students prepared for business is perfect — the respect, the etiquette, the way they actually were taught was perfect in this marketplace,” he said. “That’s what I wanted.”
He hired two of his classmates as interns. One intern-turned-employee, Eric Wu, credited Ahdoot with his professional development.
“I’ve learned so much from Shawn, both technically and practically. He taught me everything I know about the field I work in now,” Wu said. “He basically transitioned me from my education to the real professional world. Every step of the way, Shawn championed me and opened up those opportunities — I can’t thank him enough.”
Ahdoot said he has brought on 16 interns from CSUN. Six now work with him as full-time employees.
“I feel as if my personal and professional life are intertwined,” he said. “I could never separate the two, because I always hope to provide good service with a friendly and humble attitude. So, if I can accomplish a lifetime relationship with individuals with whom I’ve grown [from] a personal and professional standpoint, I’ll be glad to take it with me until my time is up in this world.”