Paul M. is a Service Manager at VC3, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was just starting out his career as an intern while still a student at the University of Memphis. Since then, he has advanced his career from entry-level technician to manager because of the opportunities he’s had to learn and develop both his technical and management skills.
When Paul began his career, he took care of the majority of work that needed to be done at client sites, deploying PCs and doing hands-on tasks for the senior engineers. He swiftly progressed from help desk technician up to senior engineer.
He was a senior systems engineer in 2019 when his employer, MasterIT, was acquired by VC3. The acquisition took place just a few months before the COVID 19 pandemic started. That meant that not only did Paul and his co-workers have to navigate through an acquisition, but they also had to pivot through the pandemic.
“When we went fully remote there were a lot of different changes,” Paul explained. “They told us that we weren’t going to be in the office anymore and to pack things up and go. It was like getting shot out of a cannon.”
Despite the upheaval that occurred as everyone at VC3 hustled to equip clients for remote work while they themselves were also getting used to a new way of working, the uncertainty that Paul felt soon dissipated. This was due partially to the transparency of leadership about VC3’s financial condition and plans, and the freedom that Paul and his team had to take care of clients.
It was a stressful time, but Paul learned a lot and he recognized that the times you get out of your comfort zone are the times when you learn the most. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a pandemic to stimulate learning at VC3.
“Sometimes at other managed service providers you aren’t allowed to touch certain tools, or they don’t want you to do certain things, but here you can jump in, get your feet wet and learn,” said Paul. “You may feel uncomfortable, but this is how you’re going to sharpen your tool set and become a really good engineer or manager.”
Being a good leader is Paul’s number one concern as Service Manager for VC3’s service team that works with clients in Tennessee and parts of Arkansas and Mississippi each day. He may not turn the technical wrench anymore, but he likes working with people and enjoys his role. He credits his long-time former manager and friend, David C. as being a role model for what a good manager looks like.
“I learned my management and decision-making style from David. I think a lot of what I learned is how he treats people and how people treat him.” said Paul. “I also have to credit the amazing team I work with on making my transition to a manager role easy.”
David was the person who first hired Paul when he was an intern still in college. When David became the Implementation Manager for one of VC3’s project teams, he hired Paul for the position he was vacating.
“Paul’s the guy who can get things done,” said David. “He has learned how to quarterback and how to lead his team by example. He gives his team enough leeway to do their job the way they see fit with oversight and by being there as a resource.”
If you ask Paul what he likes best about his job, he’ll say that it’s dealing with people and working with them to resolve their problem or issue. He cares about clients, his team, and the people he reports to.
He’ll figure out anything he’s handed and use every resource in his tool belt to get to the answer or solution. Whether he’s digging in the technical weeds or overseeing his team, Paul’s ultimate goal is the same as it’s been since he started his career – find the best way forward.