Jack Nagle talks to Smart Futures about his career as a Professional Services Manager, in the IT Security Division of Verizon Enterprise Services.
What are the main tasks, responsibilities and skills required?
I manage a team of specialists who are involved in numerous high value projects internationally.
My role combines management of the team, along with business development and liaising with clients.
Describe a typical day?
Since we all work on different projects in different countries, I spend a lot of time on the phone.
I use a variety of telecommunications technologies to work with team members in order to understand the status of a given project, as well as working alongside sales in order to generate new business.
My focus is mainly on Europe and the Middle-East.
What’s cool about your job?
I like engaging with clients, understanding their problems, designing solutions and overseeing the implementation.
Working with IT Security is technically challenging, but we all understand the consequences if business critical systems and functions aren’t properly implemented.
What are the main challenges?
Administration is vital but tedious, there’s no other way to describe it.
Having said that it’s an essential part and it contributes to good discipline.
Who or what has most influenced your career direction?
I was brought up to understand the value of hard work. It took me a while to understand fully the importance of school and hard work.
Probably my biggest influence would have been peers I could see going places, and they helped me understand what I needed to do if I wanted to get anywhere in life.
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
The job is demanding, and the hours can be long.
There is good payback in that we are all focused and operate in a culture of high-trust, so a lot of the time I work from home if I don’t have to travel.
I have a very good relationship with a lot of our clients, so meeting them needn’t always be stressful.
Work can consume all your time if you allow it, so building in leisure and family time is really a question of discipline as well.
I took a mixture of subjects, Economics, Chemistry, History, I think they have all proven to be useful on the way.
What is your education to date?
I started with a Double Honours BA in Psychology and took minor subjects like Statistics, Computer Science and Philosophy, in UCC.
Since then I have done a Post-Graduate Diploma in Computer Science, also in UCC, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Statistics in Trinity, an MBA in DCU and more recently a Post-Graduate Diploma in New Business Development in the DIT.
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
I found courses with logic to be very useful, and studied this both in Philosophy and Computer Science.
Statistics seems to have a bad reputation, I don’t know why, but it is essential for many areas of both technology and business.
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
I think that it is useful to have a good broad education and to focus when you have a better idea of what you really find interesting.
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?
The area itself is a mixture of the technical and the organizational.
A good understanding of the web and how it works is necessary, as is some basic knowledge of security.
I would stress that it is all very ‘learnable’, with a lot of material available in the public domain.
At a very practical level a lot of the risks that are being made are linked to normal human purchasing behavior for example, so the logic of what’s going on and why is usually very easy to follow.