I completed my Red River College program during the early stages of the pandemic and had a virtual graduation ceremony. This put into perspective how life, as we knew it, would be different going forward—but it didn’t make our accomplishments any less meaningful.

As students, we knew it would be difficult to put our new skills to the test in the real world, but we had to stay hopeful. I kept hoping and was lucky enough to work as an IT summer student. Towards the end of my contract, I received an email from Imaginet to officially join the team. The rest happened so quickly and felt like a dream ever since.

 

Embracing new beginnings

I started at Imaginet during a time of ‘limbo’. I got the sense that my direct reports, Roy (Managed Services & Support Manager) and Jeremiah (Principal Consultant, Business Productivity Platforms), could tell I was eager to start working right away.

My first day was December 28, 2020, right after Christmas and right before the new year. Roy gave me a tour of the office space. It was newly renovated, but no one was there to enjoy it. It was mid-holidays and the pandemic had left the office empty for months. Being there reminded me how excited I was for this new opportunity and journey. Yet, the emptiness wasn’t something I was used to. Still, I envisioned for myself what a normal office workday would look like filled with people. Regardless if I was in the office with my new colleagues or working remotely at home—I was totally elated.

However, I kept wondering how this would work out remotely. How will I learn all these new tools? How can I stay organized with my new tasks? How do I get to know my new coworkers online?

 

Setting up for success

Many of you have spent the majority of the last year in your at-home office spaces. Whether that be a corner in your bedroom or basement. Sat in the middle of the living room on a rigid dining chair. Or, if you’re lucky enough, in a spare room with a reliable internet connection where no one bothers you. (If the last point is you, know that we’re all very jealous.)

Knowing that the office will be empty for months to come, I had to tackle my first major hurdle, “where will I work?”

After my office tour with Roy, I made it a mission to set up my home office space that would set me up for success. I arranged my desk in the corner of my living space to create some division between work and home. While I can’t quite escape my furry roommate’s constant need for attention, I now have a designated space to focus on work.

I also found it important to have queues to mentally sign off at the end of the day. This could be shutting your door or, in my case, simply shutting down my computer and walking away.

With this major hurdle out of the way, I could now focus on, “how will I work?

 

Working with the team

I quickly learned that Microsoft Teams is Imaginet’s most valuable and utilized tool. It’s the answer to the ‘how’. Teams made getting to know my colleagues and having them help me understand my role much easier than I imagined. What’s funny is I can say to my team members,

“I can’t believe we haven’t met in person, it’s as if I already know you so well.”

The worries I had at the beginning were gone thanks to the support from my teammates who helped me transition into my role. This is no surprise because Imaginet has worked remotely for years and noticed little change in their work since the plight of the pandemic.

The past few months supporting clients and internal staff as a Managed Services & Support Technician have been extremely rewarding. I’ve learned many valuable new skills and have even completed two Microsoft certification exams within 30 days of starting. With the support from the entire Imaginet team, I look forward to growing in my role, learning new technologies, and working on exciting new projects with clients across the US and Canada.

Last year was unpredictable, we can all attest to that. Through the hardships and constant expectation to adapt, we have all grown one way or another. I realized that it’s so vital to stay hopeful during these unpredictable times and not give up. We’ve all proven that we’re ready to tackle this year and come out better than ever.

Want to join the team?

Imaginet is looking for amazing people and outstanding professionals across North America for a variety of roles. As an equal opportunity employer, we welcome the many dimensions of diversity.

Cathy Nguyen

About Cathy Nguyen

Cathy joined Imaginet's Managed Services & Support team in December 2020. She is a recent graduate from the Network Services program at the Red River College.

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