On #ITProfessionalsDay, we’re proud to feature one of the newest IT professionals around! Before Lena Karakash ’22 started as a tech analyst with BlackRock in New York City last month, she worked in the ITS Service Center. We recently spoke with Lena about her Service Center experience and how it helped prepare her for a career in technology.
How did you hear about the ITS Service Center? Why did you apply? Was it related to your major?
I heard about the ITS Service Center through a friend who was working there at the time. I needed a part-time job on campus, and it seemed like a friendly place to work. It also seemed to have interesting and dynamic work that I could add to my resume. It related to my major as at the time I was attaining dual degrees in Finance and Information Management & Technology.
What were your job duties as a Service Center consultant?
My job duties as a Service Center consultant were to answer any calls that came into the University’s Technology Resource Center in order to troubleshoot service disruptions throughout campus as well as to verbally diagnose and resolve clients’ computer disruptions related to university applications (MATLAB, SQL, VPN), student learning platforms (Zoom, Blackboard) and faculty security access to technology resources/devices.
What was your favorite part of the job? And/Or: What was the weirdest/toughest tech issue you ever worked on?
My favorite part of the job was that I got to speak to different people on campus who needed various technological troubleshooting. Learning how to solve their problems made me a dynamic and quick-thinking problem solver not only to manage my own tech issues, but generally speaking when it came to problem solving—I learned it was a widely applicable skill in my life that I was able to home in on through this job. The weirdest tech issue I ever “worked on” and/or got a call for was someone decided to call into ITS in order to fix the washing machine in their dorm hall. People call in for the most random things that have nothing to do with us sometimes, and those moments were good for laughs and co-worker bonding in our ITS Teams group chat.
How has your time at the Service Center helped in your new job?
My time at the Service Center helped in my new job tremendously. For context, in my new job, I am currently learning about an enterprise software that my company uses to serve clients. In about two months, I will be answering client inquiries regarding technology utilization and troubleshooting. So basically, after ITS, I graduated on to a job that was very similar in nature to the Service Center. Additionally, through working in the Service Center, I learned the virtues of patience, problem-solving, customer service, time management, responsibility, and, most importantly, that I need to be in a client-facing role in order to find meaning in my work. Helping people through consultation and guidance is something I truly enjoy doing and I would never have learned that unless I had worked at ITS.
Why should someone consider working at the ITS Service Center?
Someone should consider working at the ITS Service Center because it is a super-welcoming environment where friendly and intelligent people work, you can learn many necessary skills through this position, and it may surprise you what else you learn. I am a big supporter of trying new things and putting yourself in different environments for the sake of growth, so if you think you’d be good at troubleshooting client inquiries, definitely consider working at the ITS Service Center. Also, the job lets you make your own hours to some degree, and there is no college student out there who couldn’t use that extra check at the end of the week, so I would highly recommend working here.