March 18, 2021
As part of an ongoing interview series highlighting Mindsight’s industry-leading talent, we’re kicking things off during Women’s History Month with two of our esteemed colleagues, Senior Network Engineer Janet Knotts and Systems Engineer Kamila Bizior. Extremely busy though they are, both took time to share thoughts about work — and play. We hope you enjoy making their acquaintance.
How long have you been at Mindsight and what is your role?
Janet: I’ve been at Mindsight for 10 years. I am a Rent-A-Geek. When that phone rings or e-mail comes in, I drop what I’m doing and help out my customers in any way I can. I started out doing pre-sales, quotes and SOWs along with my post-support duties. Now I get to leave most of that sales-y stuff to the other folks.
Kamila: Four years. I’m part of the Data Center Team.
What does your day-to-day look like in terms of your responsibilities and interactions with clients?
Janet: Every day is different. Some days are crazy, some are calm, but it’s never the same day twice. I am 100 percent customer focused, and I am here to make sure my customers’ lives are as easy as possible.
Kamila: I’m responsible for proactively managing client infrastructure and assisting with technical needs and requests. I mostly focus on our managed services clients, especially on backup and disaster recovery (DR), storage, virtualization and cloud environments. My job is very dynamic, and every day is unique. I always have to be prepared to meet the needs of my clients.
What’s one of your most memorable experiences working with a Mindsight client? What problem were you trying to solve, how did you solve it and how did it help them?
Janet: The most recent experience was working with my TX electrical utility customers on restoring power after the February ice storms. We had to find ways to re-route their tower traffic over different paths while still keeping their networks secure. It was cool to make a change and then hear that we’d helped turn the power back on for 40,000 people!
Kamila: We had one client call us about their web portal not working due to an expired certificate. I was able to quickly issue and install the new one so the client could resume doing business. The issue wasn’t overly technical or complicated, but at that moment it was very important for the client. Afterward, we had one of those conversations where I could feel the relief and appreciation in their voice.
What skills, personality traits and communication styles have made you successful in your role?
Janet: I am a straight shooter and always give customers my honest opinion. If I believe what they’re doing is a waste of time or money or resources, I will tell them. But I also work hard so they feel comfortable and secure in their decisions — and to make sure they know I’m always there to support them.
Kamila: I’m a hard-working person who’s not afraid to take on new responsibilities and work through any challenges. You can always find me smiling and with a positive attitude.
How do you define client success, and why is Mindsight effective at delivering strong client satisfaction?
Janet: Client success is the customer that keeps coming back for help, and/or refers us to someone else. Mindsight’s commitment to employing experienced engineers builds that level of confidence and integrity that customers need to feel comfortable.
Kamila: I do my best to stay proactive and transparent, which I think enables clients to work on new initiatives and developments. A stable and reliable environment is crucial to a client’s success.
There’s a lot of talk about maintaining a work-life balance. What does that mean to you, and to what degree have you achieved it?
Janet: I’m very grateful to Mindsight for supporting me as one of their first virtual workers when I know that wasn’t always easy. It’s fun to see how the world’s attitude has changed toward this style of work in the past year.
Kamila: Working in technology is not a typical 9-to-5 job; it requires after-hours availability — which can be challenging, especially when you’re the mom of twin first-graders. My husband and I are a good team in terms of co-parenting and balancing our work and personal lives. One thing that helps is a shared calendar that has all of our after-hours work commitments and personal activities. My kids know that Mommy needs to work, but they also know that when it’s their time, I am completely dedicated to them. They visited me once at work during a bring-your-kids-to-work event, and I think it helped them a lot to understand the importance of what I do. Also, balancing work-life responsibilities is much easier when you work for a company like Mindsight that is family-oriented and supportive. I’m thankful for that.
What are your favorite ways to escape and recharge?
Janet: Scuba diving whenever we can travel (warm water diving ONLY!),and working with foster dogs. I have an 11-year-old, 80-pound Husky/Shepherd mix named Virgil. He’s super chill and laid back, and he’s an amazing mentor to all of the homeless foster dogs we have had stay with us — more than 80 in the past seven years and still going strong!
Kamila: I love to spend my free time actively. When it’s warmer, I’m with my family outside, biking, hiking and roller-skating. Over the summer, we camp a lot. We like to get closer to nature, sit in front of the fire and talk. If I have some free time for myself, there’s nothing better than a dinner with my husband or a girl’s night out with my girlfriends. I also love to travel and explore new cultures. It widens my horizons, gives me a different perspective, unforgettable memories and more life experiences. I’ve already visited four continents. One of the items on my bucket list is to visit all seven.
What’s one thing you know now that you wish you’d known at or near the start of your career?
Janet: Good judgment comes from experience — and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. Don’t be afraid to screw up!
Kamila: How to manage emotions. If there is a stressful situation and you need to respond, don’t do it immediately. Take a deep breath, keep an open mind, and focus on the positive emotions. Quite often you will have a different perspective about it.
Mindsight is industry recognized for delivering secure IT solutions and thought leadership that address your infrastructure and communications needs. Our engineers are expert level only – and they’re known as the most respected and valued engineering team based in Chicago, serving emerging to enterprise organizations around the globe. That’s why clients trust Mindsight as an extension of their IT team.
Visit us at http://www.gomindsight.com.