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Support Centre Team Member Spotlight: Stephanie Long

Posted Feb 28th, 2020 in the wire, spotlights, 2020

Making Beats for Drake en route to Managing IT

Tell us about your background – how long have you been with dentalcorp and what were you doing before you joined?

Prior to joining dentalcorp, I worked as part of a small team for a Managed Service Provider. We traveled around the GTA providing IT support. That segued into my first role at dentalcorp, over three years ago now.  I started as a Help Desk Analyst, offering hardware and software support. At that time there were just two of us supporting 150 Practices plus the Support Centre. As the company grew, my role evolved to that of Security Analyst, where I helped roll out firewalls to our Practices and provided security best practices. From there I started specializing into Practice Support, while my team member focused more on Support Centre. As we grew beyond 270 Practices, our team gained new leadership and I became IT Project Manager. In that role, I was helping out with internal projects and leading high priority implementations. In January, I was promoted to current role of IT manager, where I am responsible for business applications, optimization of processes, technology rollouts, and escalations. My teams include desk side support and cyber security operations.

Have you always wanted to be in IT?

Actually, no. I wanted to be a music teacher! In high school I took all music courses until I realized that it would be a huge challenge to make a living that way. I was introduced to IT, and I haven’t looked back. After high school I went to Ryerson for Business Technology Management, which focused on both how technology can improve business, as well as leadership.

What does a typical day look like?

<she laughs> There is no typical day, every day is different. Escalations, server outages, application outages…there’s never a dull moment. But it’s not just about putting out fires. There are also project rollouts, design, scheduling, budgets...every day there’s a new challenge and I tap into both my hard skills and my soft skills to succeed.

How do you manage all those different responsibilities?

My secret is coming in early, when it’s quiet. I can focus and make my list for the day, which I plug away at between meetings. I like to hash it all out before the day really starts so I can accomplish more and be on top of it all.   

What is something about yourself that your teammates would have trouble believing?

In high school, I was making beats for a course I was taking called MIDI. One of the tracks was sold to Francis and the Lights – and they ended up using part of the track when producing Drake’s song “Karaoke”. Not a big song, nor did I make much out of selling but it, but it got me textbooks for University 😊

Tell me about an experience you’ve had, either personally or professionally, that’s really left an impact.

Two years ago was my first time travelling out-of-country on a vacation to Cuba. It was definitely an eye opener. The food wasn’t what I was used to but the ocean-side views and the culture inside the city made me realize why people look forward to vacations. Now that I’ve seen the Caribbean, my next travel goal is to go somewhere beyond North America.

What are your aspirations for personal and professional growth? Do you have a 5-year plan?

Nope! I like to make short term, achievable goals and take it one day at a time. That also applies to my upcoming wedding. It’s overwhelming to think of organizing something that big – my side of the family alone is 150 people!

What do you do in your spare time?

Family is important to me, so I spend as much time as I can with them. My fiancé works weekends so I try to make sure that we get some quality time in on Mondays and Tuesdays, when he’s off.

What advice do you have for new team members joining dentalcorp’s Support Centre?

Grasp all the opportunities that you can. There are always new things to try and do to support your growth. Don’t wait to be told what to do – reach out for it.  

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