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Dataprise Women in Technology: Meet Clarissa

By: Marissa Withers

WIT October 2023 Clarissa

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This month for our Women in Technology, we are putting the spotlight on Clarissa, one of our consulting network technicians! Read about her story, and how she started in technology.

Tell us your story on how you got into technology

While working for a financial company about 10 years ago, I was given the opportunity to transfer to the IT department. The company was using a hosted Exchange server and planning to migrate to O365. They needed assistance with the migration and offered training to anyone willing to assist. Ultimately, that O365 training launched my IT career and a world of opportunities.

Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do?

Working in technology was not something I had considered. I wanted to work in a research micro-bio or genetics lab, or work with animals. I love science and math and ended up with a BS in Biology with a Chemistry minor. While science will always have a place in my heart, I am grateful I switched career paths years ago.

How long have you been with Dataprise?

My DP 1 year anniversary is around the corner, but my DP + RB anniversary is 4 years + 8 months.

Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like?

Onsite Days

Afternoon before onsite

  • Review tickets to be addressed onsite
  • Discuss any reassigned tickets for onsite from team; discussion w/Ops team regarding any scheduled equipment delivery, new hires, etc
  • Work w/Ops to reassign any other client tickets that require assistance the following day

Day of Onsite

  • Check email to make sure there are no emergencies/escalations that need addressing onsite first
  • Depending on client, grab PC or Mac and commute to onsite
  • Once onsite, Check-in w/point of contact
  • Prioritize tasks: Escalations and hardware items that cannot be addressed remotely
  • Filter queue for open/pending client tickets and contact nonresponsive users
  • Monitor queue for client’s new tickets, many have remote staff or additional offices
  • Discuss pending projects, any client concerns, etc w/your main points of contact (In house CTO, HR person, etc) prior to leaving for day
  • Occasionally meet w/scheduled vendors such as ISP techs, printer vendors, security vendors, phone vendors, or electricians
  • Work on any scheduled EOD maintenance tickets: AP firmware update/reboot, firewall reboots, etc
  • Try to log my billable time in between all the above before EOD

On remote support days:  

  • Monitor ticket queue, work on support tickets  
  • Follow up on open tickets 
  • Work on mini project deployments (EDR setup, encryption, etc)
  • Assist any onsite techs when applicable.
  • Test new deployment items/internal tech tickets w/colleagues.
  • Log billable time 

What advice would you give to women considering a career in the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?

What do you wish you had known? My advice to women considering a career in the tech industry would be to have confidence in your abilities, learn as much as you can whether it be through formal courses, online courses, or self-study, and to find a supportive work environment. I also recommend networking by attending tech events, or even volunteering. There are many non-profit organizations that need technical assistance. I previously volunteered for an organization that would use donated parts to build pcs for economically disadvantaged families; it was a great way to network and meet others in the industry.

Why do you think it’s important for more women to join the tech industry? How can the broader community support women in tech?

Having diversity in the workplace brings a broad range of perspectives and problem-solving approaches, resulting in different viewpoints to identify and address a wider array of challenges and opportunities. Promoting gender diversity in the tech industry is a matter of equality. The broader community can take various actions like encouraging girls and young women to explore STEM, donating to programs that support girls and young women in tech, establishing mentorship programs to connect women in tech with experienced professionals who can provide guidance, and by creating an inclusive and welcoming work environment that values and respects the contributions of all employees.  

What is it that you enjoy most about your current job at Dataprise?

My job is enjoyable because of the variety! Some days it is just your standard Sharepoint/onedrive, Teams, VPN issues, other days it is something random like resyncing a remote to a Wacom Cintiq & transferring the presets, walking through a kombucha production factory w/rain boots and hair net to replace a switch, assisting a client purchase a font for commercial use and then deploying to all devices, sound troubleshooting in a closed movie screening, setting up gaming consoles for clients’ meeting, remoting into a CEO’s device to monitor his talking head TV interview to ensure there were no microphone or audio issues, this list could go on!

What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?

The best professional advice I have received is to always seek opportunities for learning and growth. In today’s ever-evolving workplace, being adaptable and continually seeking ways to improve your skills is crucial. Embracing challenges and taking on new responsibilities not only enhances your professional development, but also makes you a valuable resource within your organization. I use this advice as a reminder to be proactive in pursuing opportunities for self-improvement and taking the chance to learn from every experience. This advice has truly shaped my career, and I hope it can inspire others to make the most of their own professional and personal growth.

Where do you see yourself going from here?

I have so many options! I am interested in pursuing an Azure architect role or possibly focusing on security. Now that I have managed a project and implemented the setup of the network and workstations for a brand-new client office, with another upcoming brand-new office/network setup, and managed several client office moves, a PE or PM role could also be something to pursue.

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