Life presents so many odds for us to beat, odds that society , religion or race set that make it difficult for many to shutter that glass ceiling to attain what others deemed impossible. Since time memorial the Information Technology field has been dorminated by men but history has it that their are some ladies like the famous Grace Hopper that defied odds to significantly contribute to this amazing field that we look back today in amazement of such fortitude.
It is rare to hear of an IT Systems Administrator who is a lady as many of us are used to seeing the image of a masculine figure with spects, large beard and unkempt hair but today we bring Suzan Kirungi, an IT Systems Administrator / Specialist at National Water and Sewerage Corporation to share with us what it takes to be an IT professional at such a huge organizations. This is what we asked
So In simple terms, who is Suzan?
Suzan is a motivated and goal-driven information technology professional. I am driven by success and a desire to provide real value to the IT industry. I believe in achieving the highest standards for myself and my team and in going above and beyond at every opportunity. Am also a Capable, intelligent and very presentable communications specialist with an excellent ability to understand a clients’ objectives and build strong professional relationships with people of different national and cultural background.Above all am a very God fearing person who starts my day with a word of prayer.
What motivated you to pursue a career in information technology, a field dominated by men
First of all having studied a Bachelors in Information technology
,I have always wanted to put in practice what i studied way back at the university and being someone obsessed with the technology world motivated me to pursue my career in IT.
What is a typical day at work like while working at National water ?
My day is always a very busy one because I give IT support to NWSC users in regard to different IT related issues from network support,to hardware support to systems support. I also make sure all our systems are up and running and do monitoring of different servers so as to avoid any downtime to any of the systems.
Suzan while working on a server in a network rack
What are those particular skills that you bring to your work place and how important are they?
Am a team player i believe in working as a team because together we can do it that is one of my skills and we work together to achieve desired goals.Am also innovative especially when there is new technology emerging and its because of this that some apps are running in our company.Cost management is also another skill i have that has helped the company reduce its costs especially on licenses for different IT systems.I also have very good marketing skills and am able to sell out our products.
What are those cool things about your job?
My job caters for my training needs in case i want to advance more in my career which is cool,I have insurance in case of any problem i get when pursuing my career or when at work, I manage different IT contracts/IT Licenses which gives me room for exposure to our different vendors who actually come in with great ideas.
Suzan configuring a network switch while at work
Any challenges ?
Some users i support at times may not have a little IT skills and are not willing to accept they don't know,so they can actually report something totally different from what you can find in case you go to their physical machines or in case you remotely log onto their computers,Sometimes when systems are down restoration takes a lot of time which means you have to keep in office monitoring them until late which is also a challenge.Time management by my colleagues at times you may want to do something but because what you need is with another person who is not yet at work it delays me .
What subjects did you take in school and how have they influenced your career path?
I did Economics in high school,did some Mathematics which have really helped me in carrying out cost reductions for my company IT licences.
Share with us your experience just after campus leading to your current job ?
After campus i first worked as a trainee in IT learning different things in the IT department and gaining different skills and knowledge. I was paid some little transport on a monthly by my employer and so because of the zeal to learn and being proactive and postive as time went on i also started training other trainees who joined later after me and when am opportunity in the IT department knocked i humbly applied,did interviews and i passed then later on after 3 weeks i received my appointment letter and was very excited indeed.
What is your Education to date?
Where there any additional studies you underwent to better your skills for this current role you are in?
What aspects of your education journey have proven most important for as you work?
I learnt to network with various people and i have attained different skills and knowledge from them and also researching on various IT concepts and aspects has helped me troubleshoot different things on how to resolve certain IT issues in case they arise.
What trends are you seeing in your career field ie What is the future like for the industry ?
Which key people influenced your career direction ?
My parents who have kept me going throughout my education to my career,my manager and supervisor who have impacted me with various skills and knowledge to make me a better person and God almighty that gives me the air i breath to wake up every day and go pursue my career.
I would also like to thank my brothers and sisters for being supportive always and also my aunt Victoria in London, her hard work and enterprising spirit has motivated me too
Suzan while fixing a network issue
What have been the most rewarding events / moments in your career so far?
Being recognized and appreciated for my work by my employer.
Suzan with her award for excellent performance
As a student, how did you cope up with the pressure to succeed / excel in class?
Its all about determination,being positive,taking every discussions at school serious and actively participating in class ,respecting others and being obedient to my teachers and also being humble.
What advise can you give to a girl child out there that dreams of pursuing a career in information technology?
Every girl out their shouldn't think that IT is for only men.You can actually do better than them.Just get out of your comfort zone and pursue your dreams in ICT.Every other day different technologies emerge so i wish to courage ever girl there not to sit back and relax but look for knowledge and skills in the IT world.
What outside class activities did you engage in and how have they proved beneficial for you in your core line of work today ?
I was part of the Interact club which impacted communication skills as i kept meeting different people through seminars etc,
Any Concluding remarks?
I wish to thank the student hub for having given me this opportunity to share my personal views in regards to IT and i pray that each one of us picks a leaf from all i have shared.I wish you all the very best as you pursue your various careers and May the almighty God bless you all.
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