Bronco Spotlight: Joseph Hill

Joseph Hill

Bachelor of Business Administration in computer information systems, 2021

Computer Support Technician for Western Michigan University in the College of Arts and Sciences

I was a student technician for about two years under Don Weber and Andrew Phelps. With COVID-19 we lost some staff in the department, I thought I would be a good fit, so I applied and here I am!  Our department oversees the foundational technical support for 26 units spread across 18 buildings. We prepare hardware, peripherals for end-users and the computer labs, install and configure operating systems. I troubleshoot any issues that arise and am in charge of repairing or coordinating repairs on specific devices. I create, update, and maintain reliable inventory of hardware and software throughout the college and assist with instructional equipment. I mainly assist with operational tasks as assigned by the Director of IT or the college’s Senior Network Administrator.  

If you had a campus job or internship, how did they impact your career development? 

Well my campus job was my student technician position, so I would say it impacted my career development heavily since I’m just in that position now. I am not looking to stay in tech support forever as I have goals to go into a more business-oriented role involving data analytics or database management as that is heavily on what CIS curriculum teaches us. I think while I am here it gives me a chance to pursue my MBA and open up doors for corporate jobs. 

What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?

One of my biggest motivators was losing my best friend to suicide when I graduated high school in 2015. We both had plans on attending WMU together, and it just didn’t work out that way. He is the reason I am so passionate about the technical field. As for activities, I mod games a lot in my free time, which involves a lot of file pathing and understanding how these files can interact with each other and cause issues. It takes a lot of organization and technical understanding because you are essentially editing code to make add-ons for your games. My friends and those close to me were there to motivate me forward, and my family is always there as a support. Having people that believe in your ability to succeed helps keep me going with bigger aspirations.  

Which of your skills had the biggest impact on your success? 

I would say that it has to do with how you approach a situation. I think that the analytical courses taught by KC Chen in the Haworth College of Business really prepared me for how to stop and really think about what, why, and how we are doing things. Analytics is important not just on the corporate front, but if you implement it into your every day life you can find yourself completing tasks you normally wouldn’t be able to. You need a plan, and you need to analyze that plan for failure points. 

What experiences impacted the choice of your career path? 

Well my friend passing away was the biggest motivator. Really I just was trying to make it out of a small town and into something bigger to feel like I was making a difference and being a part of something that will assist others. I think one of the reasons I like technical support is because I am assisting with everyday operations that affect the largest college within the university to ensure that faculty and staff have everything they need to teach the next line of students. It is satisfying. 

What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?  

Network, meet people of similar interest and ask for help. If you ask for help, you may find others who want to help you reach those goals. If you can’t find anyone to ask for help, maybe reach out to those like-minded people online and don’t stop trying. I got put on academic probation at one point and got really close to dropping out. The people around you can help. 

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