Welcome to the fifth instalment of our ‘My Time at Highlander’ blogs series where we turn the spotlight on some of the brilliant people that make up the Highlander family. This edition, we hear from Luke Smith, our long-serving Telecoms Engineer.
Having joined Highlander over 6 years ago, I’d like to think that I’ve become a part of the furniture here. My role as a Telecoms Engineer is one that I’ve really made my own, and looking back I’m so pleased with what I’ve been able to achieve in the last few years, and that includes working on my own pride and joy (more on that later).
Over the years I’ve seen plenty of change, not just here, but across the IT industry in general. The one thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the help and support you can count on from the brilliant people who make up our team. It’s that team spirit and family feel which is why I’ve felt so happy during my time here, and why I’m looking forward to staying for as long as I can.
Before I started with Highlander, I was already working in a similar role with another organisation, but as part of their helpdesk. It was a great way to build up my knowledge base and gain experience, but I’d always hoped for the opportunity to take on a more customer-facing role which would mean I could get out and work on site.
When I found the Telecoms Engineer role with Highlander, I felt it had all the hallmarks of what I was looking for. Naturally, when the opportunity came to join the team I jumped at the chance, and I haven’t looked back.
As part of a dedicated team of telecoms engineers, I’m responsible for a host of different projects we deliver for our customers. Everything from installing data cabinets, to assisting with the deployment of core infrastructure such as networks and phone systems sees that no day is ever the same. In recent times we’ve also expanded to take on installations around new innovations such as IoT hardware and access points, as well as audiovisual technology.
It’s always great to be able to get out on site and meet our customers. We work with some amazing organisations, and it’s nice to have the opportunity to help them with their IT challenges.
Highlander is a business that has always prided itself on technical knowledge and expertise, and that places an even greater importance on the relationship’s engineers like me establish with our clients. I like being considered a technical authority and the business supports me a lot in ensuring I stay at the top of my game. Over the years I’ve completed a number of different training courses to develop my skills, and I know that this is something I’ll be able to continue moving forward. I’m given a big say in how I develop too which is great.
The team mentality at the company is strong and everyone gets a voice. Recently I was asked to share a proposal outlining some of the opportunities available with bigger, more exciting cabling projects as we look to expand what we deliver for our customers. It’s empowering and I like feeling able to play a part in the growth of the business.
One of the things that stands out most during my time at Highlander was a little project of my own that went on to be a bit of a hit with customers and colleagues alike.
As you might expect, my day-to-day role involves plenty of travelling to and from customer sites, and my van is very much my own little portable office. After all, they say a craftsman is only as good as his tools, and my van and everything in it is a crucial part of my job. Consequently, I take a lot of pride in my van and making sure it’s just as I need it.
That’s why a few years ago I took it upon myself to enhance my mobile workspace and add a bit of a personal touch! I decked the inside with shelves, drawers and hangers, not to mention some carpet for comfort, to ensure everything was as I needed it when I rolled up on customer site. It’s a hugely personal touch that made it really feel like my own.
While it was something that I did to make my life easier while working on customer projects, it soon became something that got me noticed. Over the years I’ve lost count of the number of customers who have commented on my handywork. I take real pride in my work, and my van is an extension of the professional approach I bring to everything I do, so it’s nice to know that effort is recognised.
After a while a few of my colleagues followed my lead with their own efforts, but I’ll know that I was always the trendsetter! When the time came to upgrade my van recently, the business was able to support me with a new company vehicle, professionally fitted with everything I had become accustomed to including custom shelves and racking, internal lighting, and even the all-important carpet.
It might only seem like a little thing, but it’s great that Highlander was able to support me with something that really helps me to do my job to the best of my ability and add a personal touch to an important part of my work life.
6 years and counting, there’s still plenty more that I’d like to achieve during my time with Highlander. I’m excited to see what new projects we can start to deliver for our customers, and in time I’d love to expand my position to take on more responsibility, maybe even a management role as part of a wider team.
And of course, I look forward to plenty of fresh upgrades to the van!