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Meet iSchool alumnus Ben Early: Problem-Solver Extraordinaire

Meet Ben Early, former CCI HelpDesker and Problem-Solver extraordinaire.  Where did he get these problem-solving skills?  Why, Florida State, of course!

Ben attended Florida State University where he earned an undergraduate degree in Information Technology.  His plan was simple: graduate with a Bachelors in IT and go into network engineering and security.  While earning his bachelors, Ben began working as a technician for the CCI HelpDesk and his career interests suddenly changed.  He remembers, “I ended up working for the CCI HelpDesk and realized that I enjoy user support and it plays to my strengths; it provided me a great foundation.”

While working at the HelpDesk, Ben also performed many other duties such as providing software and hardware support (sometimes extensive troubleshooting) for the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Communication & Information, working with various software in order to administrate and maintain computer lab environments, and create internal procedures for handling IT issues.  Most importantly, however, Ben says he learned how to problem-solve.  As anyone can guess, “user support” requires the honing of problem-solving skills; every need is different, and something that works today may not work tomorrow.  Welcome to the world of IT.

After graduating with his Bachelor’s, he immediately began work on his Master’s in Library and Information Studies degree, where he was also employed as a Graduate Assistant at the Goldstein Library.  While there, he planned marketing events, promoted the library to the campus community, suggested purchases, and helped weed the IT/Juvenile literature collections.

Aside from learning valuable problem-solving skills, his time at Florida State taught him many other valuable skills: “I also learned how to assess the actual dollar value of my time and my skill set which had previously been difficult.”  He also learned to work with scope creep, or uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project’s scope, in small and large organizations.  All these skills greatly help him in his current work.

Ben is currently working as a consulting technician at FloridaMac, a locally owned computer repair firm in Tallahassee offering computer repair and maintenance “at the most affordable rates in town,” and he is thriving: “I love the amount of day to day problem solving that I get the opportunity to do.”  May the foundation he gained at the CCI HelpDesk, in expanding his problem-solving and user support skills, continue to help him in his new ventures.