E116 - Jan Khodabaksh at Universal Technology Solutions

Mitchell Cole
Jan Khodabaksh

By Mitchell Cole & Jan Khodabaksh

On today’s episode of The Route to Networking podcast, we were joined by our Finance Network Consultant and host, Mitchell Cole and Jan Khodabaksh, the Lead Consultant at Universal Technology Solutions. During this episode, they discuss his unexpected start in the industry and how he got to where he is today with some of his proudest achievements to date. They also talk through one of the biggest networking disasters he’s ever been part of and how he and his team overcome that.

Jan started his journey when he left school and went straight into a YTS apprenticeship as an Electrician and eventually qualified as an Electrician. It wasn’t only until he met his wife who was a DBA, he decided to enrol on a PC support course in the evenings after he finished his working day as an Electrician.

His life changed the day he took a phone call offering him a job in the tech world. It all began when he went from wearing a hard hat to a suit and tie. He started doing Novel courses and progressed to another job pretty much instantly. He worked at Paramount working on the Network and PCs. started looking into what area he really wanted to crack down on from there as he was doing bits of everything at that point.


People learn very differently now from how it used to be and it’s going to continue to change. So, whether degrees still hold as much credit as they did, it’s hard to say. But we are certainly changing the way we are learning. It does depend on the person as well. Some people can get on without certs, but for those that are less confident and have more self-doubt, gaining certifications can help build on their confidence and ability. Jan advises you to just ask yourself what route will drive you forward the most, then go with that.

Jan has had a truly successful career in the Networking industry so far. Considering he came from an Electrician background; he has smashed his way through the industry and achieved many things. For Jan, his proudest achievement was when he did his CCIE. At that time, he was just aiming to achieve something and have something to work towards. “It’s not so much achieving the CCIE, but it was that journey that I went through”. He left school with no grades so he couldn’t actually believe he was studying and reading for something.

With proud achievements, there also come downfalls too. Jan shares the biggest Networking disaster he has been involved in since the start of his career. Jan started in support so he had a good foundation for how he looks at things and always looks at things like they will break at some point. But this time in particular was an ordeal for him and his team.

They were all working as a team on the Network and one of his colleagues asked if he could do something on the Network with that Jan said that it wasn’t the best time to do so. The next minute, they have a huge outage. It quickly escalated to a point where they were 10-15 minutes in and still nobody held their hand up to say if they had touched anything. They eventually had to shut the whole thing down and finally, someone held their hand up and admitted they had done something to it. They had to reverse engineer quickly and moved on from the situation which most definitely could’ve been prevented if there was some honesty.

Jan gives out some great advice to those who want to go into the financial sector of Networking. Make sure you tune in to hear the full episode on 19/01/2023.