Erin Kelley was one of the few women in the Information Studies program when she graduated in 2002. During her four years at Florida State, she took every course she could in database structure, software engineering and programming. Her hard work paid off and today Erin is the owner of a thriving company, Simply Smart Technology, which offers full technology management to small businesses.
A native of Tallahassee, Erin grew up with her own bench in her father’s jewelry and watch repair shop. Nearby, her aunt and uncle were both professors in technology-related fields at Florida A&M University.
“I grew up with their hand-me-down computers and their encouragement to learn,” she shared. “My dad kept a bench at his shop for me and my brother to take apart watches and put them back together. I was hooked from an early age on fixing things and technology.”
Erin followed her passions and shortly after graduation, took the financial services sector by storm as a Technology Integrator for Accenture in Chicago, IL. She stayed in financial IT until 2009, when Erin left a job with a high-frequency trading firm and started her own company.
Simply Smart Technology (SST) started in 2009 and has vowed since day one to not lock clients into long-term contracts. In fact, all services can be cancelled within 30 days and SST holds one of the highest client retention rates in the industry. Based in Chicago, SST has clients across the country that range from dentists to law firms, even the Chicago Children’s Choir.
In 2013, Erin was honored with the MSP 250, which recognizes executives, entrepreneurs, experts and other industry leaders in the managed technology provider space.
In the end, it all comes back to her education at Florida State.
“The classes at FSU prepared me with a strong foundation in working with a broad range of technologies. A lot of my professors at the time were practitioners and really knew the material,” she said. “The cabling and systems management classes were invaluable.”
Learn more about the undergraduate program at Florida’s iSchool here.