DCN June 2016 - Page 15

meet me room What made you decide on a career in the IT industry? When I was 12 I received a bulky expensive Commodore 64 for Christmas. My dad (who is Greek) is keen on keeping items in pristine condition, so he was shocked to see me take a screwdriver and pull it apart. I loved discovering the insides of this fascinating machine. Later, I pursued a career in tourism and specialised in airline ticketing (Gallileo), but again ended up repairing the PCs and printers at the travel agency instead. It took me a while to turn my hobby into a career, but I never regret being a ‘geek’.   What is your biggest pet peeve? People who totally ignore you whilst you are trying to give a presentation they have asked for or when you are trying to explain something that they clearly don’t understand. It drives me up the wall to see their disinterest. I just stop and refuse to continue until they give it the appropriate attention. I have sent people out of my presentations when they behave similarly. Showing someone respect was a very important part of my upbringing and I have no tolerance for people who lack that.   In addition to earning a living, how else has your career created value in your life? I’ve always strived to learn and understand more. At the beginning of my career, I started as a field engineer for a banking program within their tech support and intervention team. After working with the team for a few months. I wanted to seek out more information on how the program was built, so I took some programming courses along the way. Working directly with customers and facing many challenges changed my perspective and passion for IT. Today, more and more technology integration exists and that affects my life to the point where I’m an international traveller, with family and work responsibilities. Technology has made the European continent accessible and has enabled me to discover more places and lifestyles. I’ve become a true global citizen in all aspects, including culture, languages and established friendships all over the globe.  How would you encourage a school leaver to get involved in your industry? What are their options? My biggest suggestion to a potential school leaver is to stay in school for as long as you can. It’s not the content of what you learn but the amount of information you process and the methodology on how to process it, that is far more important than the content itself. But if you do leave school, and a graduate programme might not be within reach, Dimension Data always strives to welcome young talent through our internal recruiters. Helpdesks are a good place to start if you don’t have a lot of experience. But programming is also a good starting point that can get you very far in the IT industry.   What is the best piece of career advice you have ever been given? Never be content and always challenge yourself more. If you don’t wake up with a smile on your face and go to work, find another job. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve with passion and a strong If you’re bored in your career, just know that you are the only person who can change that. work ethic. If you’re bored in your career, just know that you are the only person who can change that.   Do you have any personal heroes? There are a few senior colleagues who I look up to, who have given me guidelines and mentored me through the years. I would consider them my heroes. The heroes outside my job would be my partner, who supports me in my active international life, and my cat Skye. He’s a large Turkish Angora who is such a comedian and can always makes those dull days working from home hilariously funny when he reclaims my laptop every time I get up from my desk. He’s also known to make a cameo in the middle 15