Women in Technology: Amber Oglesbee
A Nexcess Support System Administrator on bonding with her dad over tech, helping clients as best she can, and learning to ask questions.
Amber Oglesbee grew up in the town of Fremont, Ohio. “We lived across from the library, and that was the ‘park’ to me when I was young,” she says. “I was always shut up in my room reading.” As a child, Oglesbee had a deep love for science, and envisioned life as a Marine Biologist. Then she got a PlayStation. “Video games were my life and something my Dad loved and encouraged,” she says. “My Dad is a nerd, a super nerd. Since I can remember, he’s always loved computers. We would build towers together and play games, and I knew if my Marine Biologist dream didn’t pan out, my passion for tech would take me places.”
After graduating from high school in 2011, Oglesbee began studying for her Information Technology and Security degree at Baker College. “I worked as a work-study in the IT department most of the year and got to spend the summers in New Mexico working for the Boy Scouts of America at a high adventure camp called Philmont.” Although growing up she was not the type to get her hands dirty, preferring instead to stay indoors with her books, Oglesbee ended up falling in love with the outdoors. “I made a lot of mistakes my first year jumping into something I was not at all prepared for—a heavy sleeping bag, a rented backpack, bringing only one water bottle—but I took the leap, and it was well worth it. Philmont had a profound impact on my life, and I thoroughly enjoyed the summers I got to spend there.”
It has been nearly a decade since Oglesbee began working in tech, beginning her career in a work-study role at Baker College in the technology department, administering about eight classrooms. “I had a lot of fun there,” she says. “It was a great learning environment, and having keys to the building was pretty cool.”
Then in 2013, she was hired at Nexcess as a Support Tech and then promoted to the Enterprise Support Group (ESG) a few years later. “I think getting here started back in high school. A group of my friends ended up going to Baker College together, and a few of them worked for Nexcess at the time, and we would carpool from Flint to Nexcess. They would work their shift, and then we would head to Ohio. I met multiple people, including Rigo Reis, and Enterprise Account Manager, who ended up interviewing me.” Now, Oglesbee is a Support System Administrator in the ESG department.
The environment is one that Oglesbee loves. “Technology offers so many ways to come up with creative solutions. Everyone gives their best. I feel like I always have the opportunity to try and resolve an issue, and I have a team I can rely on for help when I need it. There’s something amazing about the collaborative effort it takes to implement new ideas.”
Among her proudest accomplishments is the fact that she ran a 10-mile race at eight weeks pregnant. “I never could even finish the mile in school. My drive to persist through till the end, even when things get hard, is a valuable skill that has helped me learn a lot in tech,” she says.
Along with the importance of persistence, Oglesbee has learned to always listen, interpret, and verify when working with clients. “Technical terms and acronyms can be confusing for clients. So I always try to reiterate their needs back and confirm so that clients can understand our process, giving them peace of mind that the work we do is correct.” Assisting clients in this way comes naturally to Oglesbee. “I just like to help people. I’d have been a nurse if there was less yucky stuff,” she says.
Oglesbee encourages young women considering a career in tech to have faith in their abilities and be willing to take risks. “When I first started, I was worried I would fail to convince my co-workers that I had the knowledge to help the team,” she says. “But my team never once made me believe they doubted my competence. Of course, I made mistakes and asked a lot of questions, and the funny thing is that I still have plenty of questions. Trying new things and asking a lot of questions are a part of the job. You just have to believe in yourself first.”
When she’s not working with her team and supporting customers, Oglesbee is mother to 18-month-old Harvey. “We love listening to music together and being outside,” she says. “Harvey is warming up to the running stroller, but we have to bring lots of snacks. The entire deck, patio, and picnic table are all generously decorated with his chalk art as well. He’s hoping for more rain soon to redecorate.”
Jackie Cowan is the Communications Manager for Liquid Web. She received her MS in Communications from the Ithaca College, MLIS in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh, and BBA in Management Information Systems from the University of Michigan. She has 10 years of experience with technical and billing support, search engine optimization, and spearheading projects to enhance company culture.
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