Job Title: Systems Administrator
Type of Company: I work for a financial services company that owns a controlling interest in twenty affiliates. Together, these companies represent a diverse cross-section of the portfolio management business.
Education: BA, History, Clemson University BA, English, Clemson University
Previous Experience: Network Administrator - Clemson University Career Center (First job) Technical Implementation - eXperience Inc (This was a post sales technical setup and support) IT Consultant - NSK & Associates (3 years of IT design, implementation, troubleshooting for small companies in the Metro Boston Area) Manager of Network Operations: Sentinel Benefits (5 Years in charge of Network/Server infrastructure) Systems Administrator: Old Mutual Asset Management (2 years of Infrastructure / End User Technical Support)
Job Tasks: My primary job responsibility is to make sure that all of the computers are working. There are two types of computers that need to work together to allow our employees to run our company. The first type is the typical desktop computer or laptop computer that you probably have used at school or home. These computers must be working correctly and be able to communicate to the internet and with the second type of computer we use, the server. A server is typically a more powerful computer that is connected to the local network and that serves a specific purpose (i.e. email, databases, file storage, virus scanning, etc.) Both of these types of computers break for one of three reasons: 1.) the hardware fails or isn't working properly; 2.) the software that runs on the computer is either configured incorrectly or has gotten corrupted; or 3.) the connection to the internet or local network is not working.
The other function of my job is to provide answers to employees on how to use their "working" computers. These types of questions typically fall into two categories. 1.) They are trying to perform a new function that they are unfamiliar with. For example, someone may ask how to change the background color on a presentation because they have never done it before. 2.) They are trying to do something that they used to be able to do but it is not working. This is usually because the software version changed and there is a new way to do the task, or the software is not working correctly.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is being able to help someone perform their job function in a more efficient and quicker way. There is nothing better than seeing the look on someone's face when you help them figure out a way to make a process go from a "pain" to "no big deal"
The worst part about my job is answering the same questions over and over to the same person.
Job Tips: The biggest thing that I recommend is that you find out what the person is trying to accomplish with the technology before you try and solve the problem. You will soon learn that much of the frustration people have with their computers "not working" is they are trying to utilize a piece of software to do something it wasn't designed to do. If you find out what it is that they are trying to do first, you may find that the issue is in the process and not the software.
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