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SBHS Grad Shuns Corporate World for Small Business Dream

After the market collapse, Monmouth Junction resident Ian Scherzer decided to turn his love of fixing computers into a business.

When the economy went south, many people found themselves reevaluating their career choices in the face of unemployment. Monmouth Junction resident Ian Scherzer was no different. The 2003 graduate of South Brunswick High School went to work for Merrill Lynch straight out of college, until the realities of the recession caught up with him.

"I was 23-years-old, right out of college, and I was working in mid-management. I worked hard, was making good money and was moving up in the company," Scherzer, 26, said. "Life was going well. I was on a roll. Then I found myself at Merrill Lynch watching a meltdown. People who worked there for 30 years were getting booted. I saw people who had given their entire lives to corporations getting abused. They were basically told they're disposable, and I thought wow, this world is really tough."

Like so many others faced with unemployment from the corporate world, Scherzer was at a crossroads in his career and his life.

"I went to college for business and computers, I had a good job, and then when the market crashed I was wondering what my next move was," he said. "I was in my early 20's and I was unemployed. With the economic downturn nobody could predict what was going to happen. I was upset and I didn't know what to do."

Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Scherzer opened up his ears. The one thing he kept hearing around town were people upset with the services they were getting in the area of computer repair. With a strong educational background in computer repair and having spent four years working IT in college, Scherzer began to realize the chatter about dissatisfaction with tech repairs could be his true calling.

"I kept hearing people complain about 'The Geek Squad' and other repair places," he said. "The community was asking for help because they weren't happy. That's what I was listening to. It wasn't easy; I had to ask what do I do with this? It was a blank canvas and I had to decide how to paint it. So I decided it was time to take a risk, which wasn't easy at my age, but I felt I needed to try."

So three years ago, Scherzer started his own small business, My Expert PC, which specializes in computer, iPhone, iPad, and iPod repair.

"Finding a good computer guy is like finding a good mechanic," Scherzer said. "Our niche is our free, in-store diagnostics. We pride ourselves on honesty. If it's not worth repairing, we'll tell you it's not worth pouring money into it and what the next step is. We want people to say I trust them and I want them to do the work. The hardest thing to find is people who actually care about what they do, but that's what we do. We're honest people who take pride in what we do."

In addition to at-home and in-store repairs, My Expert PC offers computer optimization services, tune-ups, anti-virus, wired and wireless networking work. With their free diagnostics, My Expert PC's motto is "Why Hire a Geek When You can Hire an Expert?!"

"We kept hearing from people that they would go to Best Buy and hear things like 'what do you mean you don't know what that means?' When they come here we take the time to explain what everything means," he said. "We take pride in our customer service and answering every question. We're all South Brunswick guys, all SBHS graduates. Getting positive feedback from the community is what makes us happy."

As a longtime resident of the township, Scherzer praised the educational background he received growing up in South Brunswick.

"South Brunswick is what prepared me to do what I do now," he said. "From the Blue Ribbon schools in Monmouth Junction, to Crossroads, to SBHS, I was always on the computer in the classrooms. We've also been going to the South Brunswick Public Library giving seminars and doing free repairs for the last couple of years."

Scherzer said his experience at the SBPL in middle school and his time in college helped prepare My Expert PC to handle any problem that arises.

"I've seen everything a student can do to a computer, from pouring beer on it to throwing it out of the window," he said. "I've been playing on computers, breaking them and fixing them since middle school. South Brunswick helped with my growth in computer repairs in a big way. When the economy went sour I didn't have a choice, it was either sink or swim, so I put my heart into repairing computers."

As he continues to pursue his dream driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, Scherzer said he doesn't regret his foray from corporate employee to small business owner for even a moment.

"Small businesses support America. We’re the backbone, so people need to support small businesses," he said. "Here, people get personalized service that you don't get from a corporation. In this economy, we need to stick together and support each other. People say you should go get a corporate job again. But it's the American dream to work for yourself and not be bossed around. We treat people well, and I sleep well at night. And that's worth more than money."

My Expert PC is located at 683 Georges Road in North Brunswick. Click here to visit their web site or call 732-982-7144 for more information.

srinivas May 08, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Very good article..Starting a small business beats being unemployed and not making any money...Will keep this company in mind for iphone or pc repair.
Truthteller May 09, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Imagine that a guy who does not want to be part of OWS and complain. Way to go hope the business grows
Joe R May 09, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Middle of the road: What a ridiculous non sequitur and lame comparison. What the heck does OWS have to do with this new business? OWS is a legitimate group, just as legitimate as the Tea Party. Why didn't you say the guy doesn't want to be part of the Tea Party and complain? I guess you enjoyed seeing those young OWS women being pepper sprayed in the face. The OWS movement is long overdue in this country with record numbers of people falling into poverty, with 50 million uninsured, with record income inequality since the 1890s and with all of the criminality of Wall Street banksters. By the way, this young man shunned the Wall Street thuggery. This young man did complain about the abuses of Wall Street and how it treated its employees. For all I know, he may agree with the OWS movement? Bravo to him, I hope he has great success.
Truthteller May 09, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Some of your points are valid the 50 million uninsured needs to be addressed. Income inequality will exist unless you are socialist having equal opportunity does not guarantee equal results. Your point about seeing kids being pepper sprayed is foolish I do not think anyone wants to see that. People also do not want to be harassed on their way to and from work nor do they like people defecating in public parks. I support the right to protest but it be done in a civil manner. If OWS wants to be taken seriously follow the TEA party playbook organize and get people elected to represent your views. Joe if this kid is really successful twenty years from now you might be protesting him. Imagine if he forms as a corporation and franchises out his ideas. Then you can blog about him making too much money. Joe OWS has some points but the protests and behavior displayed is not a good.
Joe R May 09, 2012 at 09:08 PM
As regards income inequality: it's the worst it has ever been in many decades because middle class wages have stagnated or fallen while the top 1% reaps all the profits and rewards. The minimum wage has remained stagnate for decades. More and more workers are losing health benefits and decent pensions, they are being turned into part time workers or "independent contractors" so the bosses don't have to pay for benefits and pensions. In the late 1940s through the 1970s, working people made decent wages with which to buy houses, send their kids to college and to prepare for retirement. As for this socialism accusation, just wondering. Are you against Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interstate highways, the judicial system, public schools? They all sound kind of socialistic to me. We have socialist police departments, fire departments (even volunteer fire departments need public money for all the infrastructure and equipment), public roads and bridges. Public money going to public services, oh horrors, it's all so socialistic. 21% of US kids live in poverty but who gives a rotten damn, there will always be poor people..so say the libertarians and Ayn Randian sociopaths.

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