Marissa: Hi, Rania! Can you tell me a bit more about what you do here at Dataprise?
Rania: My current role is a Desktop Support Engineer for a large Dataprise client based in Washington, D.C. I provide full-time support to users on-site and at their offices internationally.
Marissa: What technologies are you primarily working with?
Rania: I generally support environments with Office 365, Active Directory, and other similar technologies. Sometimes we encounter users with unique software requirements, but we found that a common working knowledge of the software’s interworks is enough. To save our customer some money on licensing costs, we decided to make walk-up terminals with specific software on them at each office, instead of installing it directly on users’ machines. There are a gamut of other software and programs we assist users with, but those are just some examples.
Marissa: I’m interested to hear about how you got into technology. Tell me a little about what it was like growing up for you; was technology a big part of your life?
Rania: Technology has always been a part of my everyday life, but what's funny is that I actually had the worst luck with technology! Whether it was a phone, a Walkman, an iPad, or a laptop, I always had issues. I think this actually steered me away from technology initially because I had so much trouble with it.
Marissa: How did you find yourself in a technical role?
Rania: My first technical role was a part-time job working at the technology center on my college campus. We dealt with common, minor issues like if a user couldn’t connect to Wi-Fi in their dorm room, which we’d assist by making sure the signal was strong. Typically, I’d shadow another teammate onsite to see the interworking of the process from start to finish, but my main role was to triage work by documenting user issues, attempting to diagnose the issue over the phone, and determining severity and routing issues as needed. I had a thirst for knowledge and wanted to learn more, so I started shadowing other team members onsite to see the interworking of the process from start to finish. At some point I realized that I was the type of person who gets bored easily, so I needed a career that constantly challenged me. Since technology changes regularly and requires you to continuously stay on your toes and acquire new skills, I have found that it provides me with the challenges I need.
Marissa: What do you believe are the most important skills to have to succeed in this field?
Rania: I think as long as you are willing to learn, have an open mind, and have that drive to get somewhere, then you can do anything. You just need to make it your own.
Marissa: You have clearly succeeded so far in making your own path. What is next for you?
Rania: Well, I definitely want to work on my certifications. I feel that if I get some certs under my belt, it will make me that much more legit. It will make me more valuable, not just for the company but personally. So that is my goal: get some certifications under my belt and continue learning as much as I can from my peers.
Marissa: What would be a piece of advice you would give to women who are considering getting into technology as a career?
Rania: You can set that path for other women. You can be an example—go after whatever you are passionate about, and show other people your success in that role. That way, you can inspire and open up doors for others that are thinking about becoming an engineer or going into technology. There will be challenges along the way, but it can set you apart from the rest of the pack.