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About Work

My College Jobs...

In college, I needed to fill some time, so I got a job. I started working in the Office of International Study, sometimes known as the Study Abroad Office. This was very interesting for a country boy who had never really been away from home. This is a big reason for my stints of study in other countries. I noticed that we needed a presence on the website, so i worked up a couple of pages with notepad and sent them off to the Computing Center to get posted. With those couple of pages, I got an offer to work in the Computing Center on the entire college website. My first assignment was to post athletics information and photos. My talents were quickly realized and even more quickly utilized. Eventually I had passwords, combinations and keys to lots of things. And the staff was referring student problems to me directly. Then I graduated. To make a little money during the summer while I really looked for a job, I worked in the Telecommunications Office. I learned a lot about wiring that summer. But this was just a summer job.

My Dry Spell...

After leaving my college life behind me, I returned to my parents' home. I sent out applications every week. Most did not want to hire someone with "no experience". I did not want to mooch off of my parents. During one interview, I was asked if I had my A+ certification. I had never heard of it. I didn't get the job, but a month later I had the certification. During my two year job hunt, I got several certifications to try bolstering my appeal to prospective employers.

My Big Break...

In early August 2000, I got my break. I interviewed at Mary Washington College for the position of Computer Help Desk Technician. And I was offered the position. So I found an apartment in Fredericksburg and started working two days before freshman move in. That gave me a whole two days to figure everything out. It was a relief to be doing something again. I worked my butt off. I kept learning. I worked on developing the Help Desk's web site. I set up a mini-lab with several computers with different operating systems for testing and screenshots for tutorials. This was before virtualization had become a viable option.

The Reorganizations...

In 2003, two departments merged into the new Department of Information Technologies, complete with new CIO. We redrew boundaries and reworked the organization. And I landed in the Office of Web Communications, doing web pages yet again. But my primary task was to move the site from static pages to a more dynamic and database driven structure. The resulting hybrid we developed was used until late 2011, when the University migrated to WordPress.

I then moved to the Information Systems Office around 2006. My initial focus in that department was the institution's web portal. I eventually administered several systems tied to the University's Banner ERP system.

After a few years of programming, I found that I had violated a promise I made to myself when I was in college: never become a programmer.  So, after some discussions with the powers that be, I am now back in the Help Desk providing level two support and administering systems.

The Future...

I look forward to more certifications, but work has kept me busy. I did carve out time to get my Master's degree in Management Information Systems in 2010.  I am also looking to move into management of technology departments.