- Why Abacus?
Throughout Women's History Month, Abacus has highlighted the amazing women at Abacus who make a difference every day. We sat down with Stephanie Cooper, Senior Client Support Technician, to learn about how and why she got into the IT industry, what working at Abacus has been like, and what advice she offers someone looking to get into technology.
I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. In high school, I was involved in a Co-op program which allowed me to go to school half the day and work the second half. A manager at Stream International, Newman Smith, graduated from my high school, and had been involved in the same program. She wanted to provide a group of students with the same opportunity she had. We started as a group of 35 students, and it was narrowed down to just 5, one of which was me.
As a child, I was always interested in computers even though we didn’t have one in the home. I watched my father fix anything and everything during my childhood, from cars to radios and anything else around or in the house. If it broke, he could fix it. I think watching him do that drew me to the break/fix aspect of working in IT. Later on, I learned that I also enjoyed helping people.
I have been with Abacus for two years, and during that time, I have seen a large influx of women being hired on the Help Desk and the existing women at Abacus being promoted into leadership roles. It is refreshing to see women’s voices being heard and respected regarding business decisions and best practice initiatives.
The most valuable lesson any IT professional can learn is to think logically. Learning to think logically teaches you how to troubleshoot and break apart any issue, dissecting it piece by piece. You can take this lesson and apply it to every area of your life. Learn to smile and reassure your clients even when things are not going their way and provide them with a logical and well-thought-out solution. I have learned many lessons during my time at Abacus, the most important being that, above all, we are a team and a family.
Honestly, the most rewarding part of my job is helping and teaching people every day. Whether it’s helping a client resolve an issue or teaching a colleague something new to further their skill set, I genuinely enjoy teaching, and watching and hearing people have that “lightbulb moment.”
As a child, I suffered from severe asthma and spent quite a bit of time sick and in the hospital. I say this because the woman in history I remember admiring most growing up was Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Jackie Joyner-Kersee was a track star who also suffered from severe asthma. Watching her compete and win title after title made me think I could do anything someday, even overcome my asthma. At this point in life, a woman I admire is Michelle Obama, an accomplished woman who is a great mother, a devoted wife, is compassionate with strong character, and graceful under pressure.
If you think you want to get into IT and have a passion for it, you should go for it. Make sure you understand what kind of jobs are in the IT field, so you have a good understanding of what you want to do and the career path ahead. Get experience when possible and learn all that you can to become the best well-rounded techie you can be. And be willing to start at entry-level! It’s only up from there.