Hi, my name is Chris Olance. Back in 2011, I was making the transition from a technical position – manager of the student computer labs – to a management position as Manager of Support Services. I was struggling with the transition and I needed help. At that time, I was going to the LabMan lab manager’s conferences and I asked people at that conference about the transition to management.
Someone at LabMan suggested that I check out SIGUCCS. When I contacted them, they mentioned that they had a grant for first time attendees. Adams State University is a small state university, and funding is always tight. Getting the grant allowed me to get to my first SIGUCCS conference.
The first thing I noticed was the people we were really friendly and extremely helpful. Because they are people just like me – IT people at colleges and universities – there is an immediate shared bond. It did not matter if they are from a large school or small, people wanted to help others. Speaking of helping others, they suggested that I sign up for the mentoring program. I took their advice and was paired up with a mentor. My mentor helped me in the decisions I had to make in my new management position. I got so much out of the process that later I signed up to be a mentor and enjoyed that as well. Currently, I am on the advisory board for the mentoring program. I highly recommend people consider joining SICUCCS and consider being either a mentee or mentor!
Without the SIGUCCS attendance grant program, I would not have been able to attend this conference and learn more about this community – a community that helped me transition in my job and become a better manager. I continue to attend SIGUCCS and support the mentoring program because of this. And my success has helped me bring others from my university to the conference as well!
Chris Olance, M.A.
Adams State University
Computing Services, Manager of Support Services