E5 - Amanda Cowell at Aria Networks30 June, 2023
On episode 5 of The Route to Networking, James Dean sits down with Amanda Cowell, the Pre-Sales Consultant at Aria Networks to discuss the beginning of her Networking journey, from secondary school to the present day. She gives us an insight into her life and why she is so passionate about what she does.
After studying Chemistry, Physics and Biology during her A Levels, she found that there was something missing, which lead her to her Computer Science degree at university. She did a foundation course at college for 2 years then did her final year at university alongside a part-time job working as a teacher in a primary school. After finishing with a 1st in her Computer Science degree, she landed herself a job with Group 1 Automotive as a Junior Network Engineer/2nd Line Field where she found a love for Networking which ultimately led her to specialising in the Networking industry.
Just recently settled into Aria Networks, as someone who hasn’t met anybody in person yet due to Covid-19, you can imagine that it’s not a typically ‘normal’ situation to be in when starting a new job. What are the daily challenges for Amanda at Aria Networks? As she’s been there for only 4 months, she’s still learning every day but what she struggles with a lot is the ‘being new’ side, she tells James: “I really struggle when I get into a new company, I want to know everything straight away, I listen to my colleagues talking and get really frustrated that I’m not at that level, which is really ridiculous… it’s one of my personality traits”.
She gives some useful piece of advice that everyone can take something from, “the key aspect to daily challenges is communication”. So, no matter how tough or challenging your day is, if you communicate then it will cut the problem in half.
In a fast-paced, ever-growing industry, Amanda cannot recommend the industry enough. For people who are considering starting up, there are multiple and diverse areas to specialise in. The opportunity to learn, the various technologies and the heterogeneous nature of the industry, make it such an interesting sector to be a part of.
We now have an understanding that Amanda is encouraging people who are interested to become part of the Network Engineering industry, but what does she think are the most important skills for a person to have to be part of it? To put it simply, Amanda says to “be a sponge”, master the basics, take everything in that you can, be responsive to change and have the ability to constantly learn new things. With a growing industry like IT & Tech, there is always something new to learn. Most importantly, to be able to translate technical terms is a rare skill to have but very important in both speaking to customers and to your colleagues.
Not only does Amanda work as a Pre-Sales Consultant but she also does her own tech-related videos on the side of her job called “Technical Tuesdays”. This is one of her proudest achievements to date, she receives positive feedback from her viewers, those being people who are just starting up in Networking and are wanting to learn something new. This has given her the opportunity to connect with many people who she would not have crossed paths.
What is next for Technical Tuesdays?
She wants to continue doing Technical Tuesdays as it is something she enjoys doing and eventually, she will have liked to get a couple of guests on the show to get more conversation going. Finally, Technical Tuesdays will eventually stream onto YouTube, which will essentially bring in a wider audience.
What is next for Amanda personally?
As she reflects on her history and sees where she has come from being a university student to now working for Aria, she talks us through how she wants to just keep going, keep building and carry on learning. She wants to have helped Aria grow in the business and to work her way up herself and maybe one day start her own business, the future is looking very bright for Amanda!
With someone who has been in the industry for many years, how does Amanda see things changing in the Network space? She shares some very insightful information on where she sees the Networking industry in the future.
With many of our guests choosing Apple over Android in our quick-fire round… interestingly Amanda chooses Android. What would you choose? If you don’t want to miss out, listen here: