Profile: Karen Good
Karen Good works as an IT Support Technician at Univ, having previously lived in Blackpool and Toronto, Canada.
What did you do before you started working at Univ?
My working life started at British Aerospace up north purchasing landing gear and central warning panels for Tornadoes and Eurofighters. I then swapped Blackpool Tower for the CN Tower by moving to Toronto, Canada for six years where I worked in the equivalent of WHSmith on the till but went to night school to take computer courses. I managed to land my first IT job, with no actual experience, working in the head office of the Canadian Gypsum Company. It was a fantastic job, sitting at a corner desk on the 18th floor of a skyscraper with a perfect view of the CN Tower and I gained so much knowledge and experience there which stood me in good stead when I returned to the UK. I dabbled in a few contract jobs as a developer at various companies around the Thames Valley never staying anywhere for very long, which is the nature of contract jobs. I then decided it was time to settle into something more long-term and set my sights on Oxford University.
How did you come to Univ?
I spotted an advertisement in The Oxford Times. I had decided that I much preferred working in support rather than in programme development and I didn’t want to return to my previous job after maternity leave so the timing was perfect. My husband was already working at Hertford College so it made sense to work in Oxford.
What does being an IT Support Technician involve?
There are quite a few different aspects to my role as IT Support Officer but the main ones are to deal with any IT-related problems that academic staff, administrative staff and students may encounter, to assist with development of the college network infrastructure, to help with the IT provision for summer schools and conferences and to develop systems which we use internally in our department to manage purchases of printer supplies and maintain up-to-date information regarding the current network configuration. I love the fact that I never know what I’m going to be doing each day and I never get bored as there are always things to do. No one day is the same as another!
Are there any weird IT problems that you’ve encountered at Univ?
There are lots of weird and wonderful IT problems for us to solve and I love getting my teeth into a problem and trying different things to resolve it. It is very satisfying to find a working solution although it can take a while sometimes but we usually get there in the end. Having said that, I know our customers can find it frustrating when we ask them to reboot their PCs to see if that will fix a random problem but in all honesty it does fix the majority of problems especially on systems that haven’t been rebooted for some time. At least we don’t ask them to do it as soon as we pick up the phone like Roy from The IT Crowd!!
Do you have any advice for students at Univ?
My IT-related advice is never click on a link in an email without hovering over it first to see where it really goes!! My non IT-related advice is use moisturiser every day and stay out of the sun!
Describe Univ in three words.
Welcoming, fun, caring.
How do you feel about the celebration of 40 years of women at Univ?
I think it’s a very exciting time for Univ especially with the recent election of our first female Master and it’s good to see women so well-represented in all aspects of college life.
Women at Univ 2019. Celebrating 40 years of achievement by women students, academics and staff, and recovering the history of women in the College from 1249 to the present day.
Published: 1 October 2019