Now that he’s been here six months and has had time to settle into his position a little bit, we’d like to introduce you to Nick Lotts, a computer user support specialist at the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy who arrived here in January 2014.
What is your background?
I’ve been working with IT in a professional capacity for more than 10 years and more than 15 years in a personal capacity. I studied at ITT in Dayton, Ohio, and graduated with an associate’s in computer network systems in 2004. I initially spent my time right after graduation working for a big box retailer for about eight years, six of those spent in management. During this time I learned how to provide great customer service as well as listening to end users, who helped me (unknowingly) develop my soft-skills, a plus in any industry and especially in IT. After the retail, I spent a year working in a large data center for ai global company that supported the automotive industry. My previous position before coming to UC was with a national defense contractor where I provided IT support client and server side for about 30 employees both remote and local.
Why did you choose IT as a career path?
I believe that my desire to pursue IT initially came from when my mother would bring me to her place of employment, in the IT department of a county agency. Although she was not directly involved with IT operations (she did purchasing) I got to know a lot of the IT staff there and always found the equipment and technologies that they worked with fascinating. I still think it’s exciting when you look at where technology is headed not only from a user perspective but some of the technologies that are coming out that run behind the scenes to make these experiences happen for consumers.
What’s the one question you get asked over and over again and wonder if computer users will ever stop asking?
There is not one question that sticks out above the others as one that I get asked a lot. That’s what is great about my job; every question and problem is typically different. That said, I believe that users could answer a lot of their questions by doing a Bing/Google search. Of course, I’m always happy to help!
Is there anything different about working for a college as an IT person than a private company?
In my experience working for a private organization, IT and technology in general are viewed more as an expense and a means to an end, and since coming to James L. Winkle and UC it seems as though we are very open minded to trying out new technologies and services to see if it provides for a better learning and research environment. Even if this is not always the case, the college is typically ready to embrace technology if it helps the faculty do their jobs better or if it helps with the learning process.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I actually enjoy studying new technologies and certifying in them (go figure!), but I do enjoy going to Florida a couple of times a year. I love the ocean and golfing. Spending time with family and playing cards is always great too!