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Where My Girls At?: The Tech Tea with Kimberly

It's September ( also my favorite Earth, Wind, and Fire song...so dance with me).



I want to take this month to hear from some of the ladies. It's nothing like sipping some tea with your girls.


I have invited some old and new friends to chat about their tech experiences. Plus I want to see if this tech thing is just me in my feelings sometimes. I learn so much from others, and as I continue to take this therapeutic blog ride, I believe it is important to get some other perspectives.


 

We will begin this week's Q&A with Tecia Marshall.


Tecia, tell us about yourself and what you do.


I'm Tecia Marshall! I love God, my children, tech, coffee, books and all things Law & Order and NCIS! I work for ALSAC, which is the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I am the Executive IT Support person. I also lead the Memphis Chapter of Black Girls CODE and volunteer with quite a few tech orgs.


What’s your professional background, and how did you get into your current career?


My professional background is a mixture of business and customer service, higher and secondary education and technology. I have always been the tech person wherever I went - work, church, sorority, family - so after being a tech volunteer in the community, and after starting OFF as an engineering major 20+ years ago, I finally made it my job.


Tell us what a typical day at work looks like for you.


For me, a typical work day is coming into the office, logging into my own work station and then taking a trip to the 2nd, 8th, 9th and 10th floors. Executives reside on each of those floors. I complete morning rounds to make sure that those who are in the office, are off to a good start. No rebooting issues, monitors, password challenges, software updates - you name it. When there is a challenge, executives call me one-on-one. They bypass the ticketing system. I fix the issue and if it requires a specialty team (networking, InfoSec, Windows, etc.), then I engage those teams and work on a quick turnaround time for resolution. I also work proactively to have standing appointments on their calendars to perform routine computer updates, update them on the newest technologies (mobile devices, laptops, etc.) and I work on technical documentation. I'm on call 24/7. It's taking care of the needs of the Executives (C-suite), no matter what the challenge is.


How does your current role help your company?


Well, I take of all of the technology needs for the entire C-Suite. If their technology doesn't work, they cannot run the entire company.


What do you like best about your current position?


What I like best is, believe it or not, the relationship-building piece. A huge part of IT is customer service and relationship-building. There is a lot of pressure to perform well - I take care of any and all tech needs for the executives of a major organization. However, being somewhat of a lone ranger allows me to serve, give and deliver overall excellent customer service.


What is the most challenging thing about your current position?


The most challenging part is that I take care of any and all tech needs for the executives. (I know that is in the above response as well.) The same can be true, though, for the alternative. All eyes are always on you because they are always on the most visible persons of the organization.


What is the best career advice you have received?


The best career advice I have received so far is do not be afraid to BREAK THINGS. It's one of the main ways you learn. You learn what you do well, what you need to work on, where you can expand, and you learn how to do things in a new way.


What advice would you give other women about a tech career?


DO IT. Go as far up the ladder as you can, if that is your desire. Serve in your current capacity to the best of your ability. Change the path society has created for you. Create your own. Remain teachable. Teach someone else.


How would you rate your tech career on a scale of 1-5 and why?


5...Without working in an IT department prior, I was given the opportunity to not only work in the IT department, but work in the IT department of a world-renowned organization. I was also given the opportunity to begin with executive support and not in a traditional role (serve/help desk). I would have loved to have started there; I wanted the opportunity. My community resume spoke for me as well. As mentioned before, I lead a coding group and serve in tech in several other organizations. I'm able to be ME.


Tell us one really cool or unique thing about you.


I'm a coffee SNOB who sings.

 

Thanks Tecia for sipping a little tech tea (or coffee) with me this week.


It is always great to hear how others found their way into this amazing tech space.


Where my Girls At? continues next with another outstanding woman in tech that I met recently. Stay tuned!


Until next time.


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2 Comments


Sherry Bellomo
Sherry Bellomo
Sep 07, 2021

Thank you Tecia for sharing your story. I like your advice on 'don't be afraid to break things.' Too many folks are afraid to take risks, but you are right, if you don't reach out of your comfort zone once in a while, you'll never get anywhere you haven't already been=)

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E. Fairley
E. Fairley
Sep 07, 2021

Tecia is phenomenal!♥️

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