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Career Story: It Department Manager At An Insurance Company

It Department Manager At An Insurance Company

Job Title: IT Manager

Type of Company: I work for a long-term care insurance company, managing its IT department.

Education: BA, Music, Berklee College of Music •• AA, Accounting, Newbury College •• MCSE certificate, Clark University

Previous Experience: I have a technical background and a love of computers.

Job Tasks: I monitor all of our servers on a daily basis . I monitor and maintain all of our security systems on a daily basis. I install new software and fix software problems . I fix hardware problems with the servers, routers, firewalls, and user's computers . I order computer supplies like computers, software, networking equipment and monitor our phone systems and our T1 data lines to be sure they are always working . I instruct our users on how better to use their computers. I mentor my staff of 3 users and oversee the IT needs of 5 sites. I make network upgrade suggestions, as well as server and software upgrade suggestions. I regularly meet with executives to discuss issues, plans, and accomplishments.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is solving hard problems that have stumped everyone else. Many of the problems I work on have already been worked on by other IT people. There is a great satisfaction in fixing something no one else could.

The worst part of my job is paperwork!

Job Tips:
1.Focus on a certain branch of IT that is currently "hot": security, imaging, or SAS70 compliance, for example.

2. Look for a mentor and shadow him or her. Watch what they do and learn from them. Take notes. Ask questions.

3. Find old computers at yard sales and tear them down and try to repair or rebuild them.

Additional Thoughts: There will always be a need for IT employees. Computers will never go away. Remember that the users and managers are your "customers". Treat them like you would a customer walking into your store. Without them you wouldn't have a job. Problem-solving and troubleshooting were skills that I worked hard on from day 1 and they are still the number one attributes that employers look for in a candidate. People skills and customer service skills are important in an IT career. IT employees get to know everyone in every department so it's important to always keep customer service in the forefront of your mind. Some of your user's could very well be your boss some day!

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