Where are you from?
I was born in Regina in 1979 and my family moved to Calgary when I was four. I lived there until I was 10 and then my family moved to Didsbury, where I graduated from high school in 1997. My mother and father grew up in rural Alberta, so they felt more at home in a smaller community. After high school, I went to the U of L and tried my hand at economics, but it wasn’t for me. I moved back to Calgary and took Computer Engineering Technology at SAIT. I’ve been in the IT sector ever since.
How long have you been at the U of L and what do you do here?
I have been with the U of L since August of 2016. I am the IT Solutions Specialist for the Calgary Campus. I provide technical support, including audio visual and desktop support on site, as well as the Solutions Call Centre for both Calgary and the Lethbridge campuses. Since we are located in Bow Valley College and use a lot of their resources, I work directly with their IT support as well.
How have your duties changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I now offer technical support completely by phone, email and chat — no in-person help at the moment, which is understandable, of course. I am currently working out of my apartment, using my desktop PC that I brought home from the office. I try to keep in touch with both my Calgary co-workers, as well at the IT Team down in Lethbridge, as much as possible through MS Teams and Zoom.
What’s one thing you’ve learned from this situation?
I have learned to be thankful every day for the blessings and good fortune that I have, especially during this difficult time. I have learned to take nothing for granted. I am fortunate to have a job during the outbreak, with an amazingly supportive manager and co-workers. I have an immensely supportive family and friends who have been there for me throughout this lockdown.
What’s the best part of your job?
Helping people — students, alumni, faculty and staff alike — and not just basic tech support, but the kind, caring, supportive, patient and understanding form of support I have been working at my entire professional life. The satisfaction I get from helping people fix their tech issues is something that has driven me since I first got into the tech support field. I feel that we in IT can really make a difference in the work lives of the clients we support, especially if done with a kind voice and a pleasant demeanor. During this difficult time for everyone, I feel it is of the utmost importance that we provide the best support we can. The responses that I get can really make my day. I love being here to help.