This month you have an opportunity to read the interview with Joanne Hayes, GCOMM’s Business Analyst and IS Manager.
Tell me a little bit about your background and education.
I am from Taiwan, where I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Economics at SooChou University. During my last year of university I was offered a job at an HR consulting firm. After working there for one year, I decided to pursue a higher degree in this field. I received an unconditional offer from the London School of Economics (LSE) to join their prestigious Master’s program. This was the start of my overseas studies and adventures.
How was living in the UK?
That was my first time away from family and being independent. In a way, I would say that was one of the bravest things I have done in my life so far but also the most unforgettable. That experience totally broadened my view of life. I met friends from all around the world, experienced a different culture, different cuisine and totally different lifestyle, which was all so exciting and new for me. My first drunk experience happened in London too! Also I did some travelling around Europe with my friends while studying in the UK, given it was so convenient.
How did you decide to move to Australia?
Well, the initial plan was to have a break between jobs. When I heard that Australia had a Working Holiday Visa program, I thought it might be an interesting way to have a holiday while gaining work experience in another country. My first stop was the Gold Coast, which is famous for its beautiful beaches and sunshine. Who wouldn’t make this their first choice after noisy crowded city life in Taipei! While in the relaxing holiday mode I met my perfect match in life, so that totally changed my plans. Now, I consider the Gold Coast my home.
When did you join the GCOMM team?
Did you have IT experience prior to starting at GCOMM?
I actually didn’t have any IT background from my studies or past work experience since my previous work at Acer was in the Satellite & Aerospace division as a Project Coordinator. My main duty was to coordinate project issues between the Project Manager, R&D Engineer and the customer. My IT knowledge was accumulated over time on the job because I needed to learn to communicate effectively with engineers.
What was your role when you first started working at the company? Has it changed over the years?
I first started as a Project Manager, mainly to assist Adam in management and coordination of various internal projects. The first one was ADSL connections for GE home employees, which had at least 200+ ADSL connections nationwide and required completion within 2-3 months. That was an opportunity for me to get involved in provisioning and ordering process deeply. After this project, I was assigned to work on improving the provisioning process. Gradually, I started to take the responsibility of our management information system (MIS) maintenance which included communication with the Indian development team. I would say that I was lucky to always have been assigned a new task/responsibility after every re-organisation process. Developing over the past 7 years, I gained knowledge not only in the provisioning but also in sales, administration, accounts and other areas of the company.
What are some of the things that distinguish GCOMM from its competitors in the market place?
Innovation and ambition! For the past 7 years that I have been with GCOMM, the company vision has grown from local engineering and hardware resale services to an established one stop shop for ISP, managed IT services and private cloud solutions. That’s a really big step forward for a small business scope. And yet, we are constantly looking for new products, new services, new technology and new business strategies to position ourselves in the market.
What are some of the main challenges regarding your job?
Keeping up with Pete’s vision. He is a great business strategic planner and thinker. And he always brings up new business ideas and plans for the company, which is really important for this competitive market. As the saying goes – “A rolling stone never gathers moss”. And we never get bored!
What are your favourite aspects of working at GCOMM? Tell us a bit about the company culture.
Nice colleagues! I enjoy the family environment at work. Another positive aspect is working with people who have the same work ethic. Yes, now and then we may have disagreements but those are ultimately for the benefit of the company. Even after such disagreements, we still get along well and go crazy at work parties!
You became a mother last year. How has that experience changed you? What is its impact on your job?
A total change in my life. No one told me that having a new born baby is a 24/7 mission! However, it is also the most rewarding experience ever.
It is definitely not easy to find the balance between family and work, especially when I returned to work after my maternity leave. And I really appreciate the options Peter, Dan and Glenn gave me in order to adjust my life to ease back into the workplace. I enjoy the challenges of work and the future prospects with GCOMM.
What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time (when you do have some free time)?
I enjoy yoga, zumba, reading, cooking and travelling – well when I had the time. However since my little girl Layla was born, my main hobby is sleeping and cleaning the mess in the house!
What are your future plans?
With a new baby joining our family, I would say my primary plan is to bring her up healthy and happy and enjoy time together as a family. To help achieve this goal it’s important to have a reliable job and I’m fortunate to have one I enjoy. I am looking forward to the further growth of GCOMM, starting with the deployment of our new MIS!