Tack Chen - Network Administrator

Tack Chen

Network Administrator, Randstad Canada

I was born/grew up in: Calcutta, India

I now live in: Markham, Ontario, Canada

I completed my training/education at: Centennial College

Describe what you do at work.

There’s no such thing as a regular day for me and I love that! I work with a team of business analysts, developers and help desk technicians to keep things running smoothly at Randstad. Our network is the lifeline for every part of our recruiting agency business so we can’t have any downtime. So, if an email server crashes, we’ve got to get it back up and running so our recruiters can keep in touch with their clients and candidates.

As the network administrator, I work with multiple departments on urgent problems that are escalated to me by the help desk team. I also get to work on special projects. One of the biggest projects I led involved blending two separate business systems into one when Randstad purchased another staffing agency, Sapphire. Merging both organizations into one network required a lot of teamwork with developers and database administrators. We had to make sure the process was seamless with little to no impact on the users. In addition to leading the team I also configured and tested the system behind the scenes before it went live.

When I was a student I enjoyed:

How does your job affect people’s lives?

I think working in a recruiting company, its satisfying knowing that, although not directly, but with the technology and infrastructure I help support, helps people find careers in sectors such as IT and Engineering.

What motivates you in your career?

I like the fact that there are different challenges and problems to solve every day. I couldn’t do a job that’s repetitive - I’d get bored! Everyday there are new challenges and new projects - not to mention new tech toys. I get to test new technologies on the network such as support for tablets and smartphones. And because technology is constantly changing, my job is also constantly changing as I learn about new devices and figure out how to make them work on our network. My job is fast-paced. When I come to work I’m always wondering what issues will arise and how I’ll fix them. There’s never one way to do anything.

When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:

Describe your career path to this career.

I guess my career path was pretty straight forward. After graduating high school I enrolled in an accounting program at Centennial College. But I really didn’t like it as I found it too repetitive. Since I had always liked working with computers I switched to the network professional program. While I was at Centennial I did two co-op placements at a recruiting company called CNC Global. Once I graduated, CNC Global hired me full-time to work on its help desk team. I was promoted to network administrator in 2005, and when CNC Global became part of Randstad Canada in 2011, I continued on as network administrator.

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family. During the summer I play in a baseball league, and go camping with my kids. In the winter it switches to snowboarding, skating and vacations someplace warm.

What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?

If you really enjoy technology, you need to figure out where you fit in and give it your best shot. Do you want to be a programmer? Or maybe a business analyst? Network administrator? There are lots of interesting careers that involve working with technology. Whichever career you choose, research the different options and give it a hands-on approach until you find what works for you.

CurioCity Careers

We hope you enjoyed learning about this great STEM career! The information in this career profile was provided by this individual especially for CurioCity. We hope it helped give you a sense of what this type of job is really like.

Let’s Talk Science is pleased to provide you with this information as you explore future career options. Many careers require a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Even jobs that don’t use specific STEM concepts on a day-to-day basis benefit from the skills gained through a study of STEM. People with a STEM background are very much in demand by employers across all career sectors. If you would like to learn about more careers that have a STEM connection, visit http://www.explorecuriocity.org/careers.







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