Rita Gurevich remembers the day Lehman Brothers declared for bankruptcy in 2008.
While so many others at the company immediately began looking for work elsewhere, Gurevich — then a 23-year-old in the IT department just two years removed from being an intern from Stevens Institute of Technology — knew her work was just beginning.
The bankruptcy filing prompted an immediate need for some serious reconfiguration of precious company data — a need Gurevich met.
“We had to figure out what existed, what company it belonged to and who already had access to it,” she said. “And we had to do it quickly. It was a project that would take a company years to do. We did it in weeks.”
When she was done, she was on the cusp of starting her own company.
After short stints at two other companies, the Edison native took everything she learned from the collapse of Lehman Brothers and started SPHERE Technology Solutions, a company that primarily does data governance, security and compliance for highly regulated businesses.
It wasn’t easy.
When Gurevich, now 29, started SPHERE in January 2010, she was its sole consultant.
Her first calls went to her former co-workers at Lehman Brothers, who had wound up at a plethora of different companies.
After brainstorming with them about what she could offer each of their companies, she realized she was on to something.
Projects started coming in by the dozen: Banks, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies approached her with questions about organizing and classifying their private data.