‘Who you gonna call’

For Ryan Williams, a help desk analyst, “it’s really important to me that I do work I can believe in, and work in a workplace that I can feel proud about—and I found that here” with IST.

Day-to-day, Ryan helps students, staff, faculty, “and lots of alumni and professors emeriti” with password resets, email setups, software and technical issues. He also knows when to pass on requests he cannot resolve to IST’s other teams, such as Apps Supports, Large-Format Printing and ITSM to name a few. The issues Ryan does deal with are often repetitive but that does not mean his work is easy. When the Heartbleed bug led to the University’s password reset initiative, the Help Desk team was extremely busy, fielding over 600 calls on the first day of the initiative. Ryan, who became very quick at resetting passwords, can reset one in less than 2 minutes.

And, sometimes “something more unusual comes up” such as the call from a professor emerita who needed to send email from her computer but only had a cell connection at her cabin in Jasper. Ryan “helped her set up the phone as a wireless hotspot so she could connect to it”. Now, that professor makes a point of asking for Ryan when she calls the Help Desk because he was patient and took the time to help her resolve her long-distance IT issue.

Ryan, who arrived at IST’s Help Desk “from a non-technical background with some interest in IT and some skills”—his degree is in Sociology from Simon Fraser University and he worked at the Apple Store—understands that not everyone is comfortable with or knowledgeable about IT. And, although he “does a lot of technical work, the biggest part of [his] job isn’t technical; it’s the ability to communicate with clients”.

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