Sophos Community: Staff Spotlight - Jeramy Kopacko

Get to know , Senior Channel Engineer and Sophos Community Staff Contributor. 

Hi Jeramy!Wave

A bit of background...

Hi, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Sophos?

I am the Senior Channel Engineer for North and South Carolina. I’m responsible for our territory’s technical direction and support the region’s Gold and Platinum Sophos Partners. I’m relatively new to the territory as I’ve covered Western PA (Pittsburgh) and West Virginia for the last three years. The role requires you to be very strategic and I really enjoy the process.

What’s the story of your career so far? How did you get to where you are now?

I’ve been all over the map… I started working helpdesk support for an MSP call center near the college. Eventually, I was in the field and eventually working internally for a K12. I spent a lot of time in the education market in various roles, including management/leadership. I moved into professional service consulting before realizing I enjoyed the security industry the most. After several months of searching, I came across Sophos and the rest is history.

What first inspired you to get into IT and security?

In my previous position, I received a ticket over Christmas break that a client was hit with ransomware. It was mine to investigate and help the company recover. For some, this is their worst day, but it was a challenge I was excited to attack. I learned a lot during that experience that showed me my strongest interests in IT focused on security. This was perfect timing as I was struggling to find what I really loved to do in the field.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Being able to work within the channel with both partners and customers. The role is very elastic in nature, and I’m constantly challenged to do different things. It keeps me interested and doesn’t allow you to fall into a boring routine.

What’s something you’ve done during your time in Sophos that you’re proud of?

A few years back, I was invited to speak at the Pittsburgh ISSA Summer Session on behalf of Sophos. It was very intimidating to be amongst a very strong technical crowd and so many reputable vendors in this industry. It turned out to be a crowd favorite and the Chapter Lead awarded me with best presentation.

Describe a typical day in your Sophos life.

It’s hard to pinpoint a consistent agenda, but loosely speaking, I’ll go through emails from the internal updates. So much is changing here, and you always want to stay ahead of the news cycle. From there I could be interacting with a partner or client, answering technical questions, providing training, and more.

What’s the best advice you can give to someone who has just started their career?

Treat your career like an athlete treats theirs. Spend hours outside of work on it. Invest in a home lab to practice your craft and test what you’re learning. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know and ask someone for help. This industry is microscopic in size and so many are eager to help you grow and prosper.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

I always enjoyed working with video production when I was in high school and college. In fact, I helped produce our Senior Video in HS and completed film editing courses in college. I think I would have really enjoyed working with film and producing content.

On the Sophos Community...

What’s a fun fact about you that you could share with the community?

I recently became a father. My wife and I celebrated our daughter in early June and it’s been an entirely new world for us both.

Have you posted any Recommended Read guides on the Community?

Yes, I wrote the Getting Started In Live Discover and Best Practices for the LD&R Forum to help the community. I’m working on more resources to share out in the future too.

Last few things...

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I try to live an active lifestyle – I was an athlete in HS/College and spend my time running, riding the bike, lifting weights, and sometimes yoga. I was told at a young age if you don’t slow down, it’s harder for father time to catch you.

What’s your motto or personal mantra?

“If its not a hard yes, it’s a no” – I stole this from SharkTank but it’s a good thing to remember in life. If you’re not all in, it’s not worth your time

What’s one thing you’re really bad at?

Dancing. I try my absolute hardest to avoid the dance floor.

What’s one thing you’re really good at?

NCAA Football 2014 – so random but for those of you who played NCAA Football on Xbox 360 or PS3, you remember the time spent on this game. I still play if you’re on XBL. PM me!

Three words to describe you.

Hardworking. Understanding. Focused.

Do you have any secret talents?

None that come to mind.

Tell us about where you live (and your journey getting there - if applicable).

We will have to follow up on this in a month or so as I’m currently in the process of moving from the Pittsburgh, PA Metro to the Raleigh, NC Metro.

What’s your favorite thing about where you live?

The variety in restaurants. There’s a lot of choices to eat within a short distance.

What’s your favorite restaurant/hang-out where you live?

There’s a spot not far from me called “Off The Hook.” It’s a seafood restaurant and always a good experience with friends.

Any tips or interesting facts to share with people who want to visit?

If you come to Pittsburgh, travel outside of the city into the suburbs and back into the city to drive through the tunnels. It’s unique to drive under mountain ranges and then, boom, a city appears.

Who’s your favorite artist?

I listen to so much that I can’t really say I have a favorite. Depends on my mood or activity.

Name 1 person living or dead – who would you have dinner with?

Just 1? Brutal! Probably Steve Jobs. His life and thinking were fascinating to me. So much so that I’ve read his entire biography and the movie adaptations of it. He wasn’t the most technical man at Apple but he certainly innovated their brand.

Do you have pets?

I have two. Piper and Drake. They are golden doodles and my office coworkers.

Got questions for Jeramy? Say hi to them here in the Sophos Community or connect with them on LinkedIn or on Twitter!