What was your undergraduate degree and when did you graduate?
HND Web Management then BSc (Hons) Degree in Computer Networking (2004)
What is your job title and role?
Senior IT Operations Manager. My role is to oversee the day to day operations of multiple technical teams to ensure service is maintained and tooling is exploited. I provide advice and guidance on infrastructure complexities and am an authority for the teams I manage.
Could you briefly describe the organization you work for?
Fujitsu provide information technology solutions for businesses including application services, IT consulting, infrastructure services and products. My career began in Fujitsu where I worked as a junior engineer and progressed through to my current role. In September 2015 I transferred to the DVLA in the first major IT in-sourcing project for the government and successfully landed the capability. Now stabilization has been established, I have decided to leave the DVLA and go back to the private sector with a security company; here I will be working internationally to assist them in accomplishing their worldwide objectives.
Did your degree modules inspire you or help you in choosing your job? How?
Yes, I had a keen interest in both Computer and Networking Security and based my dissertation on this subject. I would like to say this was my main drive for choosing my Job however; it came down to location and who the company was in the end. Considering their status globally in the IT market, I felt they were the best company to begin my IT career. I started as a junior engineer where my drive and passion for success assisted me greatly in moving through the ranks and in the eleven years I have been with them, progressed through multiple roles taking on more responsibility while adapting and embracing to the change.
What modules are most helpful to you in your job?
Computer Systems Analysis, Computer Networking, Wide Area Networks, Quality Management Principles, Human Computer Interface and most of all the main Project. I really felt these helped pull all the subjects together and aid in my development.
Where do you find yourself using the transferable skills that you developed in University?
In all aspects of my job I find myself using the skills learned in University. Primarily for me, understanding a projects lifecycle through a project plan and developing that project through requirements specification, system specification, testing and validation and a conclusion. This methodology is the foundation of ITIL best practice which is an industry standard today.
Computer Systems and Analysis is key in my opinion, it really does set you up for almost anything in the work place as they skills are transferable regardless of technology. This kind of learning and development is priceless as it can be used over and over and developed, improved and passed on.
The key aspect of University is conditioning you to working under pressure and accepting pressure as a driver rather than an something to avoid.
Where do you use your specialist skills and abilities (e.g. business, programming, web, databases, networks etc.)
My role has evolved considerably since working for Fujitsu; I used all of the technical skill I learned in University for my role. Skills learned change frequently and it is essential to keep up to date with technology trends. However, basic principles remain the same and so, providing an understanding of how a given technology works is firmly understood, changes within that are easier to adapt to. One basic example of this and one almost everyone would be familiar with is Microsoft Operating Systems. If they are examined over the last ten years the functionality is the same, it has just been improved upon and the interface is different. From NT4 through to Windows Server 2012 R2 or even Windows 98 to Windows 10, Microsoft have added in new functionality and improved them but picking up each new Operating System with a baseline is easier than learning it for the first time.
Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
My role today is much different from when I began, as a Senior IT Operations manager I have accountability for multiple teams of IT professionals. I rely on them for the in depth details of the technology and I work as a Manager, ensuring process is followed to strict change controls. I took on additional responsibility for a new account with Fujitsu and travelled there once a week or worked remotely depending on the demands placed upon me. While at Fujitsu I reported to Account Executives and regularly attended board level meetings to discuss the capability, or deal with corporate level escalations as and when required.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
Watching people develop and gain confidence, being a mentor or coach as and when required.
Any tips for someone wanting to develop a career in your sector?
Focus on University, your strengths and weaknesses come out through the subjects you study and your career path will develop naturally. Find your strengths and exploit them, understand your weaknesses and accept them.
Written by jameswilliams
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