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Do you remember your first computer? For Dawid Podkanowicz, it came along when he was in the first grade. His parents bought the “HP starter package” for Dawid and his brothers from Best Buy. “The first thing we did was to take it apart, then we tried to put it back together,” Dawid said. “It took us a couple of tries.” Just like Mom and Dad were hoping, no doubt. Dawid said his parents were initially exasperated, but cooled down pretty quick — they considered that first computer an investment.
It’s an investment that more than paid off for Dawid, 16 and the youngest of five siblings, who remembers messing around with that beloved first computer for years. “That’s where it all starts,” he said. “That’s where the love came from.” Now moving into its second decade, that passion is still strong. Dawid, a student at Passaic County Technical Institute in New Jersey, has TestOut’s PC Pro certification and recently got his A+ from CompTIA. He won’t be headed to college for a couple of years, but he already has a plan.
“First I want to get a job at Best Buy, just to get through college,” Dawid said, but that’s only Phase One. “My ultimate dream is to work at Apple.”
Consider it another win for the late Steve Jobs, still inspiring old disciples and minting new ones from beyond the grave. “I love the products they develop,” Dawid said. “I’ve always been into Apple.” His college roadmap leads through the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), where some of Dawid’s friends are already enrolled. And until he gets there, he’ll be keeping his skills sharp the same way that a lot of tech-savvy people do. “My friends and family, they always want help” with computer problems, Dawid said.
Dawid’s other interests include cars, photography and keeping up a steady stream of content to his YouTube channel. He reviews cars and tech products, takes videos of car shows, and sometimes just goofs off with friends. He also enjoys playing video games — Call of Duty and Minecraft are favorites — a hobby that stretches all the way back to that first HP from Best Buy. One of the first things Dawid remembers learning to do with his brothers was make their computer faster, so they could enjoy games more.
If you live near a Best Buy in New Jersey, don’t be surprised to discover an Apple expert and YouTube whiz manning the Geek Squad counter there in another year or two.