When I had an interview with Nelson last year, IT Manager, he was thrilled about Sariat Sultana who just joined the company. Nelson was already confident in this newest member of his team: "Sariat is bright and very willing to learn" was Nelson's own words.
In-person, Sariat may strike you as a bit quiet. It does not mean she is aloof at all. She always listens intently and will provide you with her answers carefully. Once she is warmed up, Sariat will passionately tell you about her all-time favourite pizza place and share her love of desserts.
"When I lived with my parents in Bangladesh, although I was an adult by age, I acted and thought like a kid under my parents' wings. It was only after I came to Canada that I got to learn how to live like a real adult. It's lots of responsibilities but my horizons were greatly expanded. I am loving it!"
Interview by Abigail Chung
Part 1: Sariat at ARS / Global Emergency Management
Abigail (A) Nice to meet you! First, can you briefly introduce yourself, please?
Sariat (S) I am with ARS as an IT Support Specialist for almost 7 months now. I have been working in Information Technology for almost three years since I graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Windsor.
A: What are some unique parts of your role that many people may not know about?
S: My daily duty is comprised of a number of different things from planning and installation of new and existing hardware, diagnosing, troubleshooting, and resolving issues in response to user-reported incidents to providing feedback and recommendations to the management. Every day is different with its unique challenges. Being the first point of contact for any incidents, requests, and concerns, I feel like I am being a support ninja, haha! I love working with people to solve problems together as well as the process of finding the best solution by utilizing my analytical and creative skills. My role is all about never-ending learning and I truly appreciate it!
A: You are still quite new to the company. Was there anything about the company that surprised you?
S: The company is growing and expanding exponentially so I am grateful to be part of the team to build my career and grow each and every day! I also highly appreciate a great work-life balance. My colleagues here are fully devoted to bringing the best work during work hours and at the same time, they highly respect your off-hours. That way, I can be 100% when I work.
Part 2: Sariat with Her Philosophy
A: You cover lots of roles in your job. I assume it can be overwhelming sometimes. How do you make sure that you are "on track"?
S: I have three strategies that have been working wonders! First, I purposefully surround myself with positive-minded people. They motivate me, challenge me, and always keep me accountable. Second, when I get disappointed in myself, I forgive myself quickly. Forgiving is essential for moving forward. As much as I shall forgive others for their wrongdoing, I also need to forgive myself. Last but not least, I make sure I get enough rest. I pour out my best when I am at work, but when I am home, my switch turns off. I currently live with my sister and her family and they are my precious jewels. My family is my no.1 priority always. Just like our phones, I need to get recharged and refreshed.
A: What are some of the worst career-wise advice that people must avoid at all costs?
S: It is straightforward "Take the first job offer you get and even if you hate it, stay with it because getting a job is not easy." This horrible advice equates to breaking off someone's wings entirely! Most people won't find a job they love on their first attempt. Don't just give up - Keep learning and looking! Imagine your dream future then work backward: Ask yourself, "What should I do today to get to that dream in the future?"
Part 3: More about Sariat
A: What is your no.1 favourite movie?
S: My all-time favorite movie is Shutter Island. An absolutely fantastic movie by Leonardo DiCaprio with a jaw-dropping plot twist that plays with the audience’s trust by diving deeply into a man’s psyche. If anyone hasn’t watched it, should watch it soon!
A: So you like psychological thriller movies? What is your second favourite movie then?
S: Madagascar! Haha, I guess it is less about the genre but more about what movies make me watch again.
A: Your favourite ice cream flavour?
S: Chocolate! it's simple and it goes with everything.
A: What kind of chocolate?
S: That specific? Haha. Milk! I also like praline.
A: Last question! If you can choose one food item to eat all week long, what would it be?
S: I LOVE pizza! There is a place that makes great chicken mushroom pizza and I always order it with extra cheese. There is a specific restaurant in Scarborough that I always go to. I go there too often so now my boyfriend doesn't like it, haha. Ask me if you want to try that place for your next pizza - I promise you, you won't regret it!