To any successful IT team, a Senior Technical Specialist plays an important role in managing and overseeing various IT projects! In this month’s employee feature, I sit down with Fahd Kaleem. Fahd is a Senior Technical Specialist at AlphaKOR and has been a member of our team for about two and a half years.
In this candid interview with Fahd, we gain career insight into what the average day of a Senior Technical Specialist looks like, the skills that are essential to the role, advice for those looking to obtain a career as a Senior Technical Specialist, and more! Meet Fahd…
What drew you to the Senior Technical Specialist position?
Honestly, it was more of fate. I started working in the field of IT after my graduation 10 years ago. It is safe to say that IT chose me (chuckle). It was a combination of technical skills and logical thinking that drew me to this position. Always questioning, why something is working the way it is.
So, I started 10 years ago and reached the Senior Advisor position in 2018. I then moved to Canada in 2019. I started from scratch again and AlphaKOR gave me the opportunity and path to rediscover myself and reach the position of Senior Technical Specialist.
What educational background did you need to secure this role?
To secure the Senior Technical Specialist role, a diploma or a bachelor’s degree pertaining to the field of computers or electronics can help, as well as some on-the-job experience. Personally, I obtained a degree in Electronic Engineering.
Other relevant certifications that can help in this role include MCSA, CCNP, CompTIA, and ITIL.
What does the average day look like for you in your role?
The average day in my role looks very very busy! My calendar and work plan are usually filled with various tasks and projects to work on.
Since I am also a point of escalation, I will have certain work orders escalated to me for resolution or my insight. Moreover, there may be meeting plans for the day to discuss either ongoing projects or new projects.
Did you work in the IT industry prior to working at AlphaKOR?
I have been working in this industry for 10 years now. I started my first ever job on August 8th, 2012, as a Technical Support Engineer.
What is it like working for a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
Working for an MSP feels like you are working for hundreds of companies at the same time. Being an MSP, you have multiple companies as your clients with different IT infrastructures and needs.
How do you manage your time working for multiple clients?
My calendar is a lifesaver! Usually, my entire day (sometimes entire weeks) is already planned of time. I usually am multitasking. If you ever come into my office, you will see three different tasks open on the three separate screens that I have on my desk. Working with multiple clients means that you will always be juggling multiple tasks and assignments simultaneously and every client is equally important.
What skillset is critical to your job?
For the Senior Technical Specialist role, I would say the following skillset is critical:
- Customer services
- Critical/logical thinking/reasoning
- Patience (!!!)
What key qualities do you think a strong Senior Technical Specialist possesses?
Working in the service industry, we always have to work with clients and end users. Empathy is one of the key qualities to have because the end user will always see you as a saviour from their technical difficulties. Moreover, thinking out of the box is something every Senior Technical Specialist should be capable of doing. We encounter a lot of scenarios and issues in our daily routine and projects. The resolution to that issue or problem can only be figured out by logical reasoning, critical thinking, basic troubleshooting and lots and lots of research.
What is the most exciting part about your job?
Facing a new problem or a new challenge is the most exciting part of my job. Different projects pose different challenges and ask difficult questions, but treading through those difficult waters and reaching a conclusion and solution for successful implementation is the most exciting part.
What is the least exciting part of your job?
Monotony is something that can get me bored. Sometimes (once in a blue moon) it does happen and that can make things less exciting.
How do you hope to grow in your field of work?
Continuous growth is one if the exciting things about this field of work. There are multiple growth paths that can be followed while working as a Senior Technical Specialist. I plan on following the path where I can manage the fully managed clients. That involves proactive monitoring of the infrastructure and proposing the required changes/upgrades as required, based on the requirements.
What have you learned at AlphaKOR that has helped you grow on a personal level?
AlphaKOR is one of the best places I have ever worked at. It is like my second family. The culture, the environment, the people that I work with, and most importantly the leadership, everything is absolutely fantastic. On a personal level, I actually have made some really good friends within the organization.
If you could choose one superpower, what would it be and why?
The superpower I would want to have is to be able to fly. Firstly, because it will be so much fun flying around. Secondly, I can go anywhere without needing my car, since gas is so expensive now (hahaha).
Do you have a favourite quote or motto that inspires you every day?
As I work in IT, Murphy’s law states that “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” (hahaha)!
But on a serious note, Richard Branson once said
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”
If you keep waiting for something that is in your comfort zone, you will be waiting forever. Great things are done by people when they grab the opportunities that are out of their comfort zone and those are the people who make history.
For someone who would like to obtain a position as a Senior Technical Specialist, what advice would you give to them?
Perseverance is one of the key attributes to have. There is a solution to every problem. We just must keep trying to find the right solution. It takes time, but eventually, you will get there. And being in a service industry, be a good and active listener. When you are working in a client-facing role, being a good listener will increase the client’s trust in you. You can only find the solution to a problem only when you understand what the problem is, and that can be achieved by listening.
Careers In Business Technology
Are you an energetic and passionate IT professional who thrives on providing excellent service to both clients and fellow staff? If so, we want AlphaKOR to be the place you want to work. We want you to love your job. Because when you love your job, you’ll do great things. Come and do great things with us! To view our current openings, please visit our Career Opportunities page.