My name is Jami and I’m an IT Manager. I work with multiple charter schools in the Greater Boston area. Before joining Insource as an IT Support Specialist, I was an elementary school teacher for 6 years. It will be 5 years this August that I have been with Insource, also the amount of time I have lived in Massachusetts after moving from Indiana.
How did you find Insource?
I was living in Indiana at the time and working as a kindergarten teacher. My husband and I had decided we were going to move to Boston. I found an online posting for a Technology Fellowship through UP Education, who is also a client of Insource. After my fellowship was through, Insource reached out and invited me to interview for a role with them in IT support.
Although my background was not in technology, I worked closely with technology in my former school district piloting a 1:1 student device program. When I got the fellowship, although it was not what I expected, I enjoyed and learned so much that I was eager to give Insource a shot. In fact, one of the interviewers for the fellowship was from Insource – and now we work together!
How was the interview process?
The interview process was very interesting! One part that stood out was that I got to meet a lot of people who work at Insource through the process. I met the director of the IT department, Russ (who is now VP), and Bruce, the founder. It really showed that I was interviewing for a company that values the people that they would take the time out of their busy schedules to meet me. Even now, five years later, you still get to meet a lot of people in the interview process and have the opportunity to ask and answer a lot of diverse questions.
I also liked that during the interview, they gave us the opportunity to showcase both technology skills and soft skills. I appreciated that Insource placed just as much emphasis on soft skills, such as customer service and project management as they did the tech skills, being that my background was not originally in IT.
What were your main goals going in?
Since I had changed careers, my main goal was to learn as much as I could in this field from my team and find out what it means to work in IT Support. I also wanted to take what I had learned in my past career and apply that to supporting teachers at schools and helping my team understand the needs of schools, educators, and students today. I wanted to take advantage of all Insource had to offer in this new opportunity and was excited to make the most of it in this great company to work for.
What was your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was that I didn’t come from an IT background. There was a lot I needed to learn and rely on my team for but luckily, I had a great team to work with who took the time to show me how and where to find things and gave me all the tools to succeed! I also received awesome training sessions from the support manager at the time!
What’s your day-to-day like?
As an IT Manager, a big part of my day is communicating with my team on ongoing projects and requests and making sure tickets are being answered in a timely manner. I work with my team to provide escalated support or next steps on issues to make sure the client is getting what they need. On an average day, I meet with clients who are schools and non-profits through in person, phone or video calls. During these check-ins, we discuss what’s happening at their site, upcoming or current projects and what our team can continue doing to make sure things are running smoothly.
Additionally, I meet with my internal team and my team of fellow IT Managers. We discuss scheduling, projects, and ways to support our teams and clients.
Right now, there are many moving parts with the schools as they have just recently started the new school year. As students and staff gear up for the year ahead, there are many tech-related requests that pop up with Chromebooks, laptops, classroom projectors, and software to name a few, so they keep me busy!
What opportunities are available to you?
When I started at Insource, I didn’t know what my career path would look like. What I really like is that Insource leadership looks at your talents and uses them where they can see you growing with the company. When I started in IT Support, it was mostly technical troubleshooting and ticket management, which I enjoyed, but my biggest talents lie in project management and client relationships. I’m very outgoing and I love talking to my clients. Insource saw that and knew they could nurture my project management and leadership skills and therefore started giving me opportunities within my first year to start developing these skills. They saw that I could create a project plan, integrate the proper members of the team, and deliver by the timeline requested.
When I felt unsure of myself, and started to doubt whether I could move forward into IT Management (I was focusing on my technical skills and forgetting my other skills), managers on the Insource team were very supportive and gave me the tools I needed to fill in any gaps I felt like I had. That’s why we call it teamwork! It takes the whole team! I’ve been a manager for three and a half years now and in that time Insource has allowed me to use my other skills and passion for training! I have been able to create, implement and lead training not only for my own clients but other clients with Insource and in other departments as well.
What is the support like?
What really stood out for me was that I felt very supported with any questions or issues I had right from the start. Starting in a position, where I was literally learning from the ground up, it can feel intimidating to ask questions. The team was always there to assist and answer all my questions, even if it was for the 100th time. Now, even as I grow with Insource, that support is still there. There is always someone around to help and guide you!
What are you most proud of?
The work I get to accomplish with the charter schools I support. I’m passionate about helping schools. I enjoy contributing to schools and making sure they have the tech they need to teach kids and prepare them for the future. Also, making the shift from Teacher to IT Manager – – I’m proud of this big career change, too!
What do you do for fun?
In my free time, I really enjoy both cooking and going out to eat. My husband and I both really enjoy cooking together, and finding new recipes and restaurants. I also collect cookbooks. The shelf in my kitchen is nearly full! I have a dog I adore whose name is Wally. I love taking him for walks around my neighborhood, buying him new toys, and just spoiling him in general.
Was Insource the right fit for you?
Yes, definitely! They’ve supported me throughout these five years and made me feel welcome and involved. When I joined the IT team, there was only one other woman in the department – and she’s since moved on. For a while, I was the only woman here. Moving from a female-dominated profession to a male-dominated environment was a big change. It didn’t bother me, but it was clear to me that Insource wanted to be more inclusive. Saleha was very focused on finding networking events for women in tech. She joined me at most of the events and encouraged me!
Diversity is important to Insource, and we now have eight women on the team! For a company to go above and beyond just what you do for your job is amazing!
Could Insource be right for you?
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