An IT Scientist

Although Oscar Cortes is one of IST’s awesome deskside support analysts, he is not a typical IT staffer. When he was young, he “preferred sports to technology”, especially playing soccer—“the real football”. He is not a “gamer” and does not use computers much outside of work. Instead, he is interested in “computers for the science behind them and what you can do with them”.

Oscar’s scientific approach towards IT is not surprising as his original career was as a scientist. He obtained his BSc, with a Specialization in Molecular Genetics, from U of A, and his MSc in Clinical Genetics from UBC. After obtaining his Master’s, Oscar returned to the U of A and worked in the Molecular Diagnostic Lab doing IT. He also had a part-time position at the Apple Store as an Apple Specialist. After working in the Lab for 7 months, Oscar chose to work for Apple as a full-time Genius where he “loved the customer service component but did not like “the retail hours”. Recruited by a friend, Oscar returned to the University to work in IT once again, but this time for IST.

Oscar is currently supporting IST’s internal staff which he enjoys because their requests are “different every time” and that keeps him busy and “fresh”. He also enjoys being part of a very supportive team which “has an email set up that if you have something you can’t figure out you send an email and you get 5 responses all at once and that really makes your life easier”.

Oscar “loves what IST is doing with the University” and he embraces the department’s vision of IT from not being just about computers to being “all about taking care of the customer and their needs and how they feel”.

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