What My First Job in IT Taught Me
My first IT job was in 1989, an internship at a prestigious company, Arther Andersen & Company. My job title was Database Administrator, in which I assisted in strategic IT planning, systems development, and maintenance of central database systems; assisted in the creation of an in-house, PC-based Inventory system that subsequently slashed labor cost; selected and assisted in the roll-out of new in-house applications, including training and documentation; and provided technical and business support for various company-wide applications.
In short, half of my time was spent in the IT department, with other young, low-level geeks, supporting desktops and applications. Yup, Windows 3.1, Lotus 1-2-3, Word Perfect and Harvard Graphics all running on Wang PCs. The other half was spent in the communication department, where I assisted the telecom team with the phone systems and fax support. Believe it or not, there was a time where faxes came in a central spot and were hand delivered.
If I had been asked if my first job was everything I thought IT would be, I would answer a resounding “YES, and a whole lot more! It was here that I honed both my love of learning and thinking outside the box skills.”
This job was a huge blessing for me because it opened my eyes to lots of opportunities while I was book studying at Chicago State University. That job also demonstrated to me that constant studying was necessary, long hours was needed and the IT industry was getting ready to blossom.
In addition, this opportunity taught me how to truly work on teams to get a common goal done within ‘hard’ deadlines, as well as how the corporate ladder is structured.
Looking back over the years proved that I picked a solid industry to study and be apart of. Data suggests that now is a good time to enter the IT field. Job growth in IT has been consistent for several years, despite recently weathering harsh economic climates in the United States.
While the opportunity for growth and development abounds in the field, the key to succeeding in IT is to land that door-opening first job in IT.
Experience is everything in IT, and memories of the early days of digging through nightmarish networking closets builds character. Or patience. And you’ll need both as you grow into your career in IT.
In addition, I worked for a small financial advisory company in the Chicagoland area for over 17 years. Currently, I’m a senior consultant for Guaranteed Technical Services and Consulting. For more information about what we do and how we do it, visit www.GTSAC.com, or contact me at any of the line items below.
Steven E. Fitch MBA
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