The third edition of our ‘day in the life of’ feature is focused on our IT Administrator, Khurram Shahzad. Khurram has been working at the company for almost 5 years and is a valued member of the Food Alert team.
As our company continues to evolve and grow, technology is playing an ever increasingly important role within Food Alert’s digital workplace. Our IT department have become an intrinsic part of the business, helping to tackle and solve a diverse range of queries and new challenges on a daily basis.
Working on the IT Hot Desk, Khurram is the first point of contact for any IT problems that occur. This can vary from supporting clients using our online systems to any internal IT issues from the Food Alert employees.
We interviewed Khurram to gain further insight into his key role at Food Alert. He gave us a summary of his key responsibilities as well as an overview of a normal day for him at Food Alert.
Tell us about your role?
“As IT Administrator, I act as the first point of contact for any IT issues - these can be either client related or internal. I usually resolve the majority of the problems myself, however in some more complex cases that require work from the backend, I have to seek help from our Development Team.
All of our consultants and associates use our online systems FACT and Auditus with their clients, so another part of my role involves training them on these systems. It is really important that they are fully proficient to enable them to properly demonstrate the full functionality to their clients and answer any questions they may be asked. I also provide FACT and Auditus training directly to clients when required.
In addition to these tasks, I help our Network Administrator with the setting up of new systems and the creation of new user profiles.”
What is a typical day like for you at Food Alert?
“The office hours start at 9am, but I like to get in a little earlier for 8:30am to get a head start on the day. I begin by sorting through my emails, including those within the IT inbox, prioritising and responding to them accordingly.
I’m normally very busy until around midday, resolving various different issues. I tend to be contacted by email or phone, this includes both clients and Food Alert employees.
I take my lunch between 1-2pm. I like to go for a walk to get some fresh air and grab something to eat.
In the afternoon, I tend to find that I have less issues to resolve and use this time to work any on-going projects or implementations.
I usually finish around 5:30 but it can be later if I have pending tasks that need resolving that day.”
What are the best aspects of your job?
“One of the best aspects of my job is the opportunity to constantly learn new things, as I am often having to problem solve new areas and work with new technologies. This means I’m continually building my expertise and better able to handle any future re-occurring IT issues.
Another aspect of my role that I enjoy is interacting with people from across the business.
We have a great team at Food Alert and a really friendly office environment, which makes working here enjoyable.”
What is your proudest achievement since joining Food Alert?
“My proudest achievement was working with one of our larger clients and helping them to resolve an issue. They had a change in management and were struggling with the system due to poor direction from their supervisor. They came to me for help. I managed to resolve their issue and help them gain a better understanding of the systems. They were very appreciative of my work and even mentioned it to a member of our senior team. It is a great feeling when a client is happy with the work you have done.”
Is there anything you find challenging about your role?
“A particularly challenging aspect of my job is to understand each individual problem and then replicate them in order to solve them. It is important to resolve any issues quickly, which can be tricky if the problem is complex. Our clients often use different platforms, which can make replication of an issue tricky, and if they are not technically aware it can be difficult for them to provide the correct level of information. I try to combat this by running through a set of simple questions and highlighting information that is missing or is required.”
Do you have any advice for individuals in a role similar?
“My advice for somebody in a similar role would be to always be professional and polite. Try to fully understand the issue that the client is having before attempting to resolve. It is essential to maintain communication with the clients so that they feel up-to-date and reassured that their issue is being dealt with.”
Finally, aside from work, what do you like to do in your spare time?
“I like to spend time with my family. At the weekend, we go out for dinner or meet up with our friends or extended family. I also occasionally enjoy playing cricket with my friends.”