"Seidenberg Creative Labs is preparing us for a real-world situation. Basically everything that we’re doing in here is going to be live at one point or another."
– Allan Krasner, Class of 2020

As a junior working towards a degree in computer science, Project Manager of the Seidenberg Creative Labs, and President of the Pace Computing Society, Allan Krasner has his hands—and brain—full. Allan’s story starts when he became the president for PCS at the end of his freshman year. Becoming president of a club as a freshman is almost never heard of, but he worked hard to reach the coveted role and earned it. That day he began a long and successful career in the Seidenberg School, where he made his new home.

Allan believes that being elected as president was due to his actions towards bettering the club, and his record agrees with him.

“I tried to take the club from what it was at the time, and . . . amp it up,” he explains. “I wanted to make it a little bit more special and unique.”

That’s exactly what Allan did. By adding in HTML and CSS tutorials, Android workshops, and branding the society as “a club for anybody,” he made PCS an inclusive space that others wanted to join. He also worked towards being able to “introduce people to new things they may not have seen before or even worked with.”

Doing that doesn’t always go smoothly. “Last year, I’ll be honest, it didn’t go too well,” Allan admits. “This year we’re trying to restructure it so that [there are] more consecutive events, [it’s] more hands on, and a lot more fun for people. I think so far we’re getting better results.”

When things don’t go well, how one chooses to respond to hardship can result in vastly different outcomes.

And with better results, the computing society has grown. Allan continues to advocate for PCS, going above and beyond in his duties to ensure that students have a great experience in the weekly meetings. He’s even planning on bringing back workshops on Raspberry Pi next semester if possible—something that many PCS members will enjoy as hands-on experiences with cool tech.

But Allan’s time isn’t only spent on his presidency. A nine-month project with the New York City Design Factory (NYCDF) also had a profound impact on his development.

Allan had the opportunity to work with NYCDF on the SQUAD team from Oct 2017-May 2018. He worked with peers from other universities on site in Poland and Portugal on a real world project. As with all classes run through the NYC Design Factory, SQUAD included international travel and the opportunity to work closely with a real company sponsor. Allan and his New York-based team worked on the backend code, while members from Portugal worked on the frontend, and other members from Poland worked on the business side of the project.

The project was difficult, because “you’re not only working with one time-zone that’s different from yours, you’re working with two,” explains Allan. “We ended up figuring out how to split up the work, and we made it happen.”

Allan focused his time on time management and product development, which furthered his education. This set him up for yet another opportunity: Project Manager of Seidenberg Creative Labs. His time is spent on some phenomenal projects, and this role of his all started, yet again, his freshman year when he ran into the right people.

“Seidenberg Creative Labs, it used to be a student-run thing,” explains Allan. “It was originally led by Julie Gauthier, who used to teach a robotics class in the past, and while she was a student she did this. When I came in as a freshman I—just by chance—met a couple of her friends who introduced me to her.”

Upon meeting her, Allan began a journey into the world of computer science from a new angle: product management. Through working with Julie, he gained skills that he uses to this day at his position at Seidenberg.

One of the unique aspects of Seidenberg Creative Labs is that it is funded directly by taking on real work from real clients. Over the years, SCL has built websites, mobile apps, databases, and more for companies in the New York digital economy who have paid for the service. The students who work in the lab are hand-picked by the Seidenberg School Dean, Dr. Jonathan Hill, and use their talents to provide top products for clients while supporting their studies.

Now, at his job as the current product manager, Allan works directly with Dean Hill. Working with the Dean is a pretty big deal for a Seidenberg student. After potential projects are presented to Dr. Hill, they hold discussions to figure out which ones they get to create with the companies asking for Seidenberg’s services.

“I will have conversations with Dr. Hill, and I’ll say, ‘hey what’s the plan? What’s going on here?’” explains Allan.

When a client introduces a project to Dr. Hill, he will get together with Allan to see how Allan and his creative lab team can make a product for the client. From there, Allan manages the progress of the team working on the product and works on the coding aspect as well. It’s a cycle of teamwork that keeps Dr. Hill, Allan, the creative lab team, and the client in touch with everyone.

Allan and his team are currently working on a total of four projects: Pen Parentis app, Tech Kids Unlimited app, a website for Chinatown, and a virtual reality tour of Seidenberg.

Allan notes that the Pen Parentis app is “specifically for parents who want to become writers.” Parents can use Pen Parentis to jot down notes for future writing plots and ideas. According to Allan, the team is working with ionic to make the app, which means that it will be available for all phones on the IOS, Android, and Windows stores.

“It’s just a way for them to organize their thoughts,” he explains. “[They can] write notes down, and write any short stories that they want to.”

The app for Tech Kids Unlimited is dedicated to both the parents and children who want to use it. The app focuses as an aide for autistic children by keeping track of appointments, medications, and much more. Allan notes that the app is “a nice layout for what’s happening at a given time for them.”

The next project is a website for Chinatown that will include what the best food, shops, and things to do are in the cultural area of New York City. It will be a guide for those who want to see the best stops in the cultural area centered in Downtown Manhattan.

“It’s going to give information on everything that’s happening in Chinatown,” Allan further explains.

The last project is a big thing for Seidenberg. A virtual reality tour would show off the new renovations of the Seidenberg lounge, introducing prospective and incoming students to the area they will have the opportunity to study in. Before coming to Seidenberg in person, students can view what spaces and resources they will have access to.

“We’re just getting the ball rolling with it,” Allan notes, but the VR tour will be up and ready in due time.

“Being a product manager at Seidenberg Creative Labs is something that many people don’t get to experience. As a junior at Pace, I have to manage 12 people, and I have to manage four different projects that those people are working on, and sometimes they’re even graduate students. I’m working with people from various age ranges to get an actual product to be delivered.”

As the manager of these numerous projects, Allan gets the opportunity to oversee the teams working on these different projects as well as do some coding. Through this, he develops his leadership skills while staying on top of his coding game.

“[Seidenberg Creative Labs] is preparing us for a real-world situation. Basically everything that we’re doing in here is going to be live at one point or another,” he further notes. “Being part of Seidenberg Creative Labs shifted my perspective a little bit. Coming into Pace, I knew computers were my field. Then when I became part of Seidenberg Creative Labs it shifted my focus from software engineering to product management.”

Allan didn’t just choose this path for himself on a whim. This path was taken into careful consideration during his high school years when he decided that computer science was the path for him. His experience on the robotics team at his school made it clear that his path was working with computers, but that isn’t the only thing he wants to do: Allan wants to use his creativity to build applications and work with teams during the production process.

Allan will continue to pave a path for himself in the world of computer science at Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. As for beyond that, only time will tell where Allan goes, but we’re sure it’s only up from here. Whether it’s working for Google in his dream job as a project manager, or at a start-up company, Allan will use the skillsets he obtained at Pace University to foster creativity and release it into the world for all to see.

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