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Ricky Meadows: Help Desk Technician, USA

Ricky Meadows

Help Desk Technician

Washington Penn


I had a decent job at the time and wasn't necessarily looking for a new position, but a family friend that worked at Audia mentioned "We have a position open, and you should apply for it. I think it's a good opportunity for you." So I applied, interviewed, and got the position. I've been with Washington Penn for a little over 5 years now.  

When I started here, during the interview process I told my manager from the beginning my current IT skillset was in networking and server upkeep. My previous position was not exactly IT-centric, but because my department was off-site, and an hour away from the corporate IT team, I did some kind of fringe IT work. A lot of the help desk stuff in general, such as troubleshooting methodology, active directory, or exchange for emails I didn't get directly exposed to from my previous position.  

There was a big gap between what I should know and the skillset I started with, but I let my team know from the beginning, that "a lot of the things you're asking for in help desk work is stuff that I can very easily learn." Audia set me up with the proper training, and I have definitely been able to fill in those gaps in my skills.  

And now I actually do very little server or networking support because our roles on the IT team are defined. It's great because our team is not being pulled in a million directions. And this allowed me the time to build the skill set for help desk support that I just never got from my previous jobs. We are constantly updating processes and adopting new tools, which gives us the opportunity to gain new skill sets. We regularly look through the help desk tickets to see the top reasons that people called in and figure out if there is a better process for fixing the problem.  

I personally like to learn and listen. I like to get information, then I'll realize how pieces fit together. Since my particular role and the help desk team is client facing, you gotta be a people person. It helps build rapport. I try to be a pretty decent conversationalist. If you find it difficult to hold a conversation with people, it kind of makes your job harder. A solid 90% of the people here really like to chat. So being a people person, or a little more extroverted, really helps someone excel in this role since you're dealing with anywhere up to 1200 people that work here.  

I feel like a big part of the company culture is being nice to people, and treating 'em like a professional. And I think that you know, that is really, um, fostered here. Some people call the help desk and sometimes feel bad just for even calling. And it's crazy, because that's what we're here for. They really appreciate the help you can provide to them.    

I was really surprised about the extent to which the company genuinely cares about its employees and their well-being. You're known on a First-name with leadership and they do a lot of little things to let you know they appreciate you: from Kennywood picnics to a Halloween party for the kids and all the other employee engagement events that show their appreciation. Not only do they care about you as an employee, but they care about what makes you happy. And, most people would say their family is what makes them happy. They really do show an appreciation for you as a person and what makes you, you not just you as an employee.   For new employees starting, my advice would be to first, try to realize what you can learn from the company and then look to see the way that they actually do things and finally see how you can improve upon them.

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