We’re thrilled to present our ‘Meet the Team’ series, an opportunity for you to learn more about the brilliant minds powering our organisation. Kicking off the series is Laura, our exceptional Network Manager.

How long have you been at Excelerate?

 I’ve worked at Excelerate for over 7 years now. When I initially started as a network assistant, my role was mostly basic troubleshooting, which gave me plenty of hands-on experience with hardware.

Since then, as I progressed to network administrator and then to network manager, my role has grown to managing the internal IT infrastructure, including servers, laptops, mobile phones, and any other user hardware across the company estate. I also administer, monitor, and oversee Excelerate services, including cellular, satellite, telephony, and video streaming. Additionally, I provide advice or assistance where needed to other teams within the business, working most closely with the Installations and Support Teams.

What does a typical day at Excelerate look like for you?

One of the reasons I truly love my job is that no two days are the same. While there are always routine tasks, such as checking backups, routine maintenance, and scheduling patches, most often, the days vary. On Monday, I could be helping users test a new piece of software. On Tuesday, I could be commissioning a VSAT on board a superyacht. On Wednesday, I could be troubleshooting a video streaming solution for one client while setting up a VoIP adapter for another.

There’s never an opportunity to be bored, but there are a million opportunities to learn.

What about Information Technology appeals to you?

IT, to me, is very logical, on or off, positive or negative, zero or one. The “how” is where we get to be creative, and there are so many different ways to get from “it doesn’t work” to “it works”. I’ve never been very good at puzzles, but putting the pieces of a network together to make it all fit is what I revel in.

What do you enjoy most about working at Excelerate?

There’s a huge variety of technology to be exposed to at Excelerate, more so than many other technology companies out there. There’s always something new to learn. But by far, for me, the best part is the way the team all pitch in and pull together. There’s always someone to help when you need it, and in turn, you are always more than happy to help others when they need it because that’s the culture that’s been created here. We look after each other and work together, and that shows in the quality of the work we produce.

How has the industry changed since you first started your career?

Technology is a very fluid industry, and if you don’t keep up to speed, you’ll be left behind. Though artificial intelligence and machine learning obviously are one of the biggest talking points among tech circles recently, the most notable change for me has been the Cloud.

I remember writing an essay in college about Cloud Computing, how it was starting to gain popularity and its potential for the future. Fast forward 10 years, and it’s everywhere: data storage, computing power, virtualisation. It’s difficult to imagine how we managed without it!

What advice would you give to anyone who aspires to work in a similar job role as you?

Choose a course that covers a wide variety of IT topics to begin with. You may have your sights set on a specific area of expertise, such as software engineering, but when you start living it day in and day out, you may find it’s not for you. A course that covers all aspects of IT in short modules allows you to explore what you really enjoy before you choose an area to specialise in.

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