Marissa: Tell us your story on how you got into technology.
Emily: I needed a new computer while I was in college but decided it would be more economical to build one myself than to buy one already made. After that, I just kept researching and learning – I’ve always been a DIY kind of person. Technology was a fun hobby of mine well before it became a professional career choice.
Marissa: Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do?
Emily: No, this was more something that evolved as an interest later on. I majored in Communications at the University of Maryland, College Park, which is completely unrelated to IT (outside of the customer service aspect, I suppose).
Marissa: How long have you been working in the IT field?
Emily: I’ve been with Dataprise for a little over four months now, but I’ve worked in the MSP world for about three years, and IT in general for about five years.
Marissa: Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like?
Emily: My primary role is to handle Tier II help desk tickets which are ticket that are escalated from Tier I support. Troubleshooting in a help desk environment is always a fast paced, think on your feet type of environment, and requires solid technical knowledge and customer service skills. Additionally, I am a resource for other engineers, so that they can learn from me and grow. I always appreciate it when someone asks for assistance, so I can show them how to fix an issue, and then they don’t need to escalate it the next time they encounter it. A typical day involves taking and resolving as many tickets as possible, while also being available as a resource when my team members have questions or need someone to brainstorm with.
Marissa: What is one piece of advice you’d give to young women looking to get into the technology field?
Emily: If IT is where you want to be, just go for it! Like anything else, you have to build your skills and develop your career, and it’s a good idea to pay close attention to detail while choosing where you want to work. Most MSPs are male-dominated environments, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily want it to stay that way; in fact, most MSPs – like Dataprise! - are actively looking to add strong technical women to their teams.
Marissa: What advice would you give to women considering a career in the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?
Emily: My biggest piece of advice would be to develop strong research skills above all else – the most important thing for me has been the ability to quickly find the information I need in order to solve a problem. I don’t think there’s anything I necessarily look back on and wish I had known, but there are always things that I still want to learn and feel that if you have a strong desire to always keep learning, then IT is a great field to work in.
Marissa: What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
Emily: I don’t know if there’s an overall “best part,” but I’m definitely enjoying the work that I’m doing now, and glad I get to be part of an awesome team here at Dataprise.
Marissa: What is it that you enjoy most about your current job at Dataprise?
Emily: I like that I get to contribute in so many areas – it’s important to feel valued at work, and know that what you do matters. I think that’s clearly communicated at Dataprise, to all the staff, that what we do every day directly impacts the way we function as a whole.
Marissa: Where do you see yourself going from here?
Emily: Who knows! Sky's the limit!