Behind the Tap Spotlight: I.T. Systems Administrator Nadia Brunson
Meet I.T. Systems Administrator Nadia Brunson. Nadia’s work behind the scenes is critical to CCWA’s operations as she supports internal staff whose work impacts customers. She is responsible for verifying backup servers daily (virtually and physically), server patching, hardware monitoring (which includes verifying central processing units, memory, and network disk metrics are within acceptable measures), data center temperature monitoring, maintaining system resiliency, etc.
Some might think of a system’s admin job as a desk job. Nadia is quick to point out there is a physical side.
“A systems admin can be on virtual meetings in an office one moment and then kneeled on the floor pulling cable in the same day,” she adds. “I have to safely install equipment that may weigh over 50 lbs. I carry tools, testers, kneeling pads and flashlights to get my job done.”
She loves the variety in what she does and her passion for her work shines through when she talks about it. “In previous jobs I would get the two-year itch. Being a Systems Administrator allows me to satisfy my need for variety in my responsibilities.”
Prior to joining CCWA in 2008 she did similar work in the banking industry. The uncertainty of that industry at the time and a new marriage led her to accept a position in CCWA’s Customer Service department to ‘get in the door’. That job gave her the unique perspective of understanding the customer side when she moved to the I.T. Help Desk a few years later.
Technology has evolved and the department has grown and changed, but her customer service heart remains. “I always want to help employees so that they have what they need to do their job,” she adds.
Along with the fun stuff comes challenges. According to Nadia, the biggest challenge all I.T. professionals face is providing reliable solutions for end users in a way that doesn’t leave us vulnerable to a possible security breach. Personally, her biggest challenge is staying up to date with her training. “You are never the expert in I.T.,” she adds.
The COVID-19 pandemic definitely impacted Nadia’s job. Pandemic or not, a water utility must continue to provide vital services to its community. She is much more mobile these days. “To reduce possible exposure to COVID-19, I was only in office one day a week then gradually moved up to three days a week. However, my current project (replacing SCADA host and storage servers at nine CCWA facilities) has me at a different plant every day. My responsibilities revolve around physical pieces of hardware and their health. COVID or no COVID, I’ve had to replace drives that die and be at the data center late at night when systems loose connectivity.” #waterprofessional