Turning 50 – An IT Journey

 

Photo by Kendall Scott on Unsplash

Today I turn 50 years old.

What an interesting and amazing ride with lots of twist and turns!  As I reflect on my career, I wanted to focus on the people who provided my greatest “Ah Ha” moments.   

I attended the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!) and graduated with an Information Systems degree. My first job was with Computer Sales & Services in Columbia, South Carolina. The job focused on selling computers, networking, services, and accessories to corporate accounts across the state. Though It was a small company,  I worked with many great people who illustrated how to balance work and life. The owner of the company offered a bit of advice; master the hard part of your job and the rest becomes easy.  Success will ultimately follow. What great advice! Implementing this mindset has served me well in my career.

The next stop on my career journey was with a company called PC Genius. It was a small local computer training company in Columbia where I sold the training to corporate accounts. I mostly sold Microsoft Office application training. One of my corporate clients was Seibels; an insurance processing company. Calling on corporate accounts and interacting with different corporate cultures taught me to always keep my eye out for potential job opportunities.

One of those opportunities was a job at Seibels.   I went from selling to supporting at a large company with ~750 employees and had legit data center infrastructure. My new job was in telecommunications. I was anxious about the career change, but took the job anyway.  As in most IT jobs; I took a risk and it furthered my career.

Moving  to telecommunications at Seibels gave me the needed experience to secure my next job opportunity at Time Warner Cable as the Telecom Manager. Time Warner Cable was a huge company and this is where my voice and data career converged. Finally, I was back fully in the IT department. My job at TWC showed me how IT is truly a business differentiator, not just a necessary cost center. 

Staying in touch with friends and former co-workers at Seibels ultimately led me back to a new career at Seibels as Director of Technology Services. The job description included managing the company’s IT infrastructure and telecommunications. One of the perks of being so involved with the IT infrastructure was being introduced to VMware. My lesson from the Seibels job was going back to a previous employer can still be a career step forward.

The next career opportunity before VMUG was Immedion. As the General Manager at the Asheville, NC datacenter, I managed the entire datacenter, staff, and customers. This position afforded me the opportunity to meet and interact with many people all over the globe. The position at Immedion opened my eyes to how fast technology is changing, and the amount of data being produced. What an exciting time to have a job in the IT industry! It sparked a new passion in me.  I began to look for a way to combine my IT experience/enthusiasm and share it with others in the IT community.

Thus, the final stop on this 50-year old’s job journey brought me to VMUG. A global community that has shaped so many careers. My position has highlighted to me how much the people aspect of technology is what is driving us all forward. Bits and bytes brought us together, but it is the community that keeps us going.

VMUG has positively impacted so many IT careers.  Thankfully, I include myself on that list.

Brad



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