Experience a day in the life of a professional IT consultant, Eli Moulin, an external employee currently with a pharmaceutical company in Colorado. Learn about what he finds important in the field, behind the scenes about his job, and how he got to where he is today.
A big thank you to Eli for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk with us!
Q: What do you do as a consultant?
A: I’m in charge of backups and monitoring, as well as infrastructure tasks. I’m involved with advising and testing new products as well as ongoing support of the Infrastructure environment.
Q: How do you decide which contract to take?
A: This was easy, as I was already looking for a new job and this opportunity basically fell in my lap. I’m a big believer of things happen for a reason and having a colleague who already worked with TriCore made the decision even easier.
Q: How do you interact with the client?
A: I work onsite at the Broomfield, CO site and interact with clients via email, phone, Microsoft Lync and verbal communication.
Q: What users, departments do you interact with and how?
A: As the backup lead I deal with users in all departments as file/folder/system restores are requested from all departments. Also as the monitoring lead, I monitor all systems and communicate with application owners when one of their systems starts generating monitoring alerts. I also work with the IT Infrastructure team for the North American region.
Q: What is something that has helped you succeed in this field? Do you have advice for aspiring IT consultants?
A: Having a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Networking and 11+ years of in the field experience is invaluable. The experience is key, as you run into many problems and issues in the real world, which you will never touch in a classroom. Having the experience and tool set to troubleshoot appropriately and resolve the issue in a timely fashion is invaluable, and keeps your skill set fresh as things are always changing in IT. You may find yourself working late hours on a particular issue, but once you resolve the issue you’ll never forget it and the next time the same or similar issue arises you can resolve it much quicker and efficiently.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
A: Working for a pharmaceutical company which strives to create a healthier world in which everyone has access to the medicines they need, no matter who they are is the most rewarding aspect of my job.
Q: What do you see as advantages of contract positions? (Versus permanent placement)
A: The pay scale differs being a contractor opposed to internal placement as the company doesn’t have to pay benefits, insurance, or PTO. Being paid hourly opposed to salary is an advantage of the contract position. In my previous salaried job I worked many late nights and weekends without getting paid extra.
Q: How is it different being external rather than internal?
A: The pay rate and PTO are big differences for external vs internal. Being external also allows me to create my own working schedule, within reason. If I have to leave early or come in late typically isn’t an issue, which helps with appointments and my two kids. However, since I don’t incur PTO being a contractor, I have to put money side for taking time off.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A: I start my day reviewing the previous night’s backups and replication to the Broomfield site. If any issues are observed I work to remediate the issue. I also check monitoring daily and address any issues that may arise. Once my daily checks are done, I work on projects that have been assigned to me or daily operational tasks, such as installing a new server, setting up backups for new servers and applying monitoring to new servers. I also advise and test new products and support the infrastructure environment as needed.
Q: What major changes have you noticed in the course of your career so far?
A: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Networking and 11 years of in the field experience. The past 10 years I had worked for small/medium sized business which greatly rounded my overall skills. However, this new opportunity with my current company has exposed me to the Enterprise environment and skill sets required to support it, which has greatly improved my overall skill set.
Q: Any predictions for this industry/position 5 years from now?
A: I believe both IT and Pharmaceuticals fields will continue to be strong, as there will always be a need for IT and medicine.
Q: Can you tell us about something you’ve recently enjoyed working on at your current position?
A: I’ve been researching and testing new backup software which can be used to replace our current environment. I really enjoy project based work as it give you the opportunity to learn new products and stay up to date with new technologies that continues to get released.
Q: Is there anything about your job that people would find surprising?
A: Although I mainly support the North American region, being involved with backups, monitoring and infrastructure tasks allows me to work with coworkers across the globe.