Years with MIL: 7
1. What were you doing before joining MIL?
Before working at MIL, I was one of two IT professionals at a small Portland, Oregon based start-up company that was trying to develop a check-cashing ATM solution for local credit unions that did not receive the perks and technologies that bigger banks receive. My supervisor and I did anything and everything IT-related to support developers and executives on this project.
2. Why did you decide to join MIL?
Unfortunately for the Portland company, it eventually had a major investor back out and had to close its doors. My wife is originally from Southern Maryland, so we packed our bags and moved across the country. MIL immediately caught my eye as a well-established business (I needed some stability after the start-up) that had a position open that very much interested me. I began supporting IBM’s newest product they purchased called QRadar: A Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool. I stood up and maintained this tool for NAVAIR, and it is still used today!
3. What are you working on now?
Now…I wear a lot of hats. I am a team lead on the ETS team, managing system administrators, network operations, and Network Operations and Support Center (NOSC) personnel. I support the same contract I was hired onto seven years ago. I am also a network engineer and an assured compliance assessment solution administrator. I consider myself a jack of all trades that can delegate time and resources wherever it is most needed to make sure the customer has everything they need to succeed, whether that is with my time or my team’s time.
4. What is important about your work?
The people! As a team lead, I take my position very seriously. I am consistently trying to make our environment a great place to work while also balancing workloads, listening to concerns, and coordinating support for the customer. Between the people and the company, you’d be hard pressed to find a better combination to make work an interesting and engaging place to come to each day.
5. What are the best aspects about your current job?
The flexibility of this job is underrated. I have never worked in an environment that is really as structured as I want to make it until now. I have the ability to go anywhere and do anything if I put my mind to it and put in the work. Adam Ptack is also one of the most receptive supervisor’s I’ve ever worked under, which empowers me to propose improvements and alternate solutions.
6. Why do you enjoy working at MIL?
MIL is always going out of its way to give its employees fun perks and events to attend but is also very receptive to feedback. This alone keeps me dedicated to the company, as I know a lot of folks who don’t enjoy the same benefits. I can always get feedback and input on my job performance from my management, and that can sometimes be hard to find at other companies.
7. What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on at MIL?
I would say it is a tie between two projects. The first project that I found challenging was getting our new space in Suite 301 set up in the new Agile work environment. This project was immensely challenging in all aspects including logistics, support, and troubleshooting. The second project was the complete overhaul and redesign of the RDT&E NOSC. We took the NOSC from one permanent person and a rotating chair, to a robust fully-staffed helpdesk environment for customers to call with RDT&E network issues.
8. What is the best piece of career advice you can offer someone in your field who is either applying to or beginning a career at MIL?
Be specific about what you’re after. Don’t be afraid to speak up to your supervisor about projects or opportunities within MIL that excite you. This company is absolutely what you make of it.