Getting to know: Tom Brinton – IT Engineer

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Tom Brinton

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My name is Tom and I’m an IT Engineer at Insource. I’ve been with the company for about five and a half years. I started as an IT Assistant and then moved to a support role in IT Support and am now an IT Engineer.

How did you find Insource?

Through an online career search engine. I was keen to move into technology so I applied for an IT Intern position I saw advertised. An interesting coincidence is that a good friend of ours – my wife’s college roommate – was working at a school at the time, and Insource was working at the school as the school’s IT department. When our friend mentioned that she knew Insource and said how great they were, I thought that was a really cool connection.

How was the interview process?

I thought the process was good – pretty in-depth, which I appreciate. My first interview was with Insource’s recruiter, Tom Yannone. Next, I interviewed with Matt Mone (my current director) and Scott McDonald who was the support director at the time. I was applying to be an intern and they both commented that I knew a little more than an intern, so they suggested that I go straight into a support role. It was a 3-tiered interview process – this interview then with Russell and Matt.

I wasn’t from a technology background, so there were some questions I couldn’t answer. But I have learned so much on the job since then. Then they called and let me know I was hired the very next day. They could see my potential and didn’t try to pigeonhole me into the role I applied for. If Insource hadn’t taken me in and given me a chance, I would not be where I am today technically, personally, and in my career. I came from a job where I was doing drug research for a pharmaceutical company and was keen to change streams. They gave me the chance I needed.

What were your main goals going in?

To learn – absorb, act as a sponge, not let anything leave my brain. I felt like I was trying to drink from a fire hose – there was so much to learn after orientation. I learned on the job, which I found exciting and motivating.

My second goal was to adopt a whole new way of thinking in a completely separate field. My third goal – my long-term goal – was to grow. I feel like I have grown so much and I am still growing every day.

What was your biggest challenge?

There are a number of them. Interpersonally, I’d say the biggest challenge has been asking for help. That’s something I had to overcome starting out. It was critical in moving into the next chapter of my career growth at Insource but, starting out, I didn’t want to ask for help. I wanted to prove myself. But Insource kept saying, “there’s nothing wrong with asking for help – we WANT you to ask for help. I’ve adopted that over the years and now I say that to people I onboard: don’t hesitate to ask for help. Ask someone who knows what they’re doing.
Technologically, there’s a lot to learn. There are so many platforms we work on at Insource. As an IT Service Provider, we support a wide range of technologies so you never work on just one platform or for just one client. But once you get that broad blanket of knowledge, you can focus on developing your specialism in one particular area. It’s stressful sometimes, but I find it very stimulating and interesting. It’s a good stress: I don’t do the same thing every day, which I love. I’m always learning something new. When you’re working with several different clients, you get to do a lot of research, so you’re always growing.

What’s your day-to-day like?

I have a lot of meetings. My day starts early with a quick check of my to-do list and calendar. I can block parts of my day for different projects and tasks, which keeps my days interesting and varied but also gives me the focused time I need to stay sharp.

In an engineering role, it’s very project-based. So I usually start out by determining the task list and prioritizing what needs to be done while also building in flexibility in case something urgent comes up. I try to block my time out the day before. I aim to keep Thursdays and Fridays very project-focused and have meetings at the start of the week.

This is the way I do it – other engineers take different approaches. At Insource, we can really tailor our time each day and week to suit what works best for us. Working from home allows me to be focused and to work in a way that works best for me. And I don’t have to commute. I really love that I’ve been able to spend this year with my newborn.

What opportunities are available to you?

There are so many – and it’s only improved over the years. The DEI (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusivity) effort has been incredibly eye-opening and such a good opportunity. It helped me and likely others to become more self-aware and consider our reactions to DEI issues. It was a great opportunity to self-actualize. I feel proud to be part of an organization that does that.

Another opportunity has been growth: I’ve become so much more technically adept over the years. From building my own computers as a hobby, I’ve learned networking and so much more. I’ve also really enjoyed working with a lot of wonderful people at Insource and feel that my social life has been enriched by my colleagues and the company culture. Even during the pandemic, we’ve had online meetings and socials, gifts and so much more. They work hard to make us feel welcomed and accepted.

But, by far, the biggest opportunity has been the knowledge growth I’ve experienced.

What is the support at Insource like?

I think the DEI is spectacular – we have people we can always reach out to talk to and we even have a Teams channel where we can post thoughts and insights in the “Continuing the Conversation” channel on DEI issues and current events. I think it’s such a helpful resource to have, and we’re encouraged to have open conversations with our colleagues about these issues. We also had consultants come in and work with groups of colleagues to allow us to talk about DEI issues in a safe space, led by trained and compassionate facilitators.

We have a strong mental health support plan which is available free of charge for Insource staffers. I have benefited from this program and am proud to be part of a company working to destigmatize mental health support.

Work you are most proud of?

I think determining what I enjoyed doing the most and being able to focus on that has been one of my biggest achievements. I am developing a specialism in MS Intune, an endpoint and mobile device-managed technology built on Azure Active Directory. I’m now the subject matter expert (SME) in this area and I’m proud to be able to set this up for clients and lead training for colleagues and clients.

I have learned to train others and I’ve developed strengths and confidence in this area. I love training and love being able to explain something – being able to convey concepts concisely proves you’ve grasped the knowledge.

What do you do for fun?

These days, I’ve been playing with my son, Otto. It’s great to have had more time with him while working from home. I also build models as a hobby. And I love gardening.

Was Insource the right fit for you?

Definitely. Yes.

Is Insource the right fit for you?

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