Oliver Anderson is a Telecommunications Infrastructure Engineer at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), an American global food-processing and commodities-trading corporation. Oliver has nearly a decade of experience working in telecommunications, with progressively increasing responsibilities contributing to strategic IT initiatives geared towards the optimization and maximization of productivity and efficiency. Oliver has a BS, Information Technology – Telecommunications Management from Illinois State University. He also has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Millikin University. You can find Oliver on Linkedin here.
1. Most job postings cite “X” years of relevant work experience and specific education criteria as requirements to be considered for the position. With this in mind, what prior work experiences and degrees/certifications/training helped prepare you for your current role?
On the job experience has been paramount in my development as a technical resource. I have always held a technical role, working in a telecommunications infrastructure engineering capacity, however achieving the MBA degree provided me with a better foundation in business principles. This educational opportunity strengthened my ability to understand the multiple facets of a multinational corporation, to communicate more effectively with the business units, and to more aptly identify the ways in which IT can be utilized as a strategic tool. ITIL Management Framework training has also provided me with a proven, structured model in which optimal service management can be achieved.
1B. What (if any) additional knowledge or skills that you don’t currently have would make you even better at your job?
PMP training, in order to better understand project management, would enhance my role immensely. As a member of a project-oriented team, effectively allocating all applicable resources is key in achieving maximum returns and training in project management would surely provide me with the tools to do so.
2. Some jobs require the incumbent to be very analytical. Others require one to be a strong communicator, and others still require traits like patience, the ability to multitask, self-directedness, comfort with ambiguity, and exceptional attention to detail. Are there any behaviors and/or attributes that you would say are essential to performing the work that you do?
As a member of the IT organization, all of the above attributes encompass the characteristics of an ideal team member. An attribute that I constantly see falling by the wayside is the ability to effectively communicate with teammates and the business units. The IT organization is very organic and some dependencies between different teams and technologies are very strong. If these bonds are broken because of ineffective communication, our ability to fulfill the requirements of the business units to provide maximum returns for shareholders/owners dwindles.
3. Jobs guru Lou Adler says there are only 4 job types of jobs in the world (producers, improvers, builders, and thinkers). Which type of job are you in?
Builder – I am provided with services and products by business partners and plug them into our organization in order to maximize productivity and efficiency for our business units.
4. Does your job involve either directly or indirectly supervising or managing people? If so, how many direct (or indirect) reports do you have?
My job does not involve directly supervising/managing people though I am a technical lead and am relied upon for my expertise in the field of telecommunications.
5. How does what you do impact the business? Think complexity (different types of impacts) and scale (degree of impact). Put another way: Who and what would be impacted if your job wasn’t being done well, and why would it matter that they were impacted?
What I do maximizes productivity and efficiency in conducting business through voice communications between colleagues and with customers. If my job wasn’t being done well, it would drastically hinder the business units’ ability to convey, accept, and retain pertinent information.
6. Is your job safe? Rate its safety on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “seated all day in an air conditioned vault” and 10 being “I’m an astronaut going into space”. If your job isn’t safe, what working conditions (specifically) make it hazardous?
I would rate my job safety as a 5. I am mainly seated at my desk in a corporate environment but many times, projects require me to enter into a plant or storage facility environment in which many dangers are present. However, I am fortunate to be employed by a corporation where safety is paramount and through practicing the communicated precautions, I have yet to feel as though I am in danger in any way.
7. Is there anything I missed that people should know about your job? Is there anything else you want to say about what you do?
The IT Organization is an evolving creature in the business landscape where those who simply use it as a requirement to keep the lights on will wither and die, while those who effectively utilize it as a strategic tool will surely propel themselves into the forefront of their competition.
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