Spirited Woman in the Spotlight Series
As part of our commitment to showcasing the talent within Trident and the wider Spirit Group, this month we highlight the great work being done in the education sector. Our team member who is based in NSW, Kim Dawson, enables students to use innovative technology from Trident, to further their education; a role that has proven particularly important during times of lockdown and classroom disruption.
Up close and personal with Kim Dawson
I’m a Solutions Specialist or Solutions Engineer, specialising in the education sector. I started my career with the Beachhead Group over ten years ago and have stayed, following Spirit’s acquisition in September 2020. I studied Computer Science at the University of Sydney, which laid the foundation for my technical, behind-the-scenes type knowledge, and gave me an understanding of how the software works. Straight out of university, I started working within the education sector in a customer service type role, mainly helping clients with configuring systems and programs and discussing renewals and so forth.
The Beachhead role was my second placement, and I was given the scope to expand my technical knowledge, specifically regarding web-filtering, which is essential for schools and contributes to their duty of care. I then started working with servers and other infrastructure, networking, firewalling, wireless, and almost every bit of technology that schools use. This was a great learning curve, and I now see myself as an education specialist. My knowledge about how crucial the duty of care aspect is to schools allows me to better understand their motivations when it comes to technology choices and requirements.
The biggest thrill for me in this role is solving a customer’s problems. Whether it’s a single piece of technology or multiple pieces – working together to create the desired outcome. I’ve got customers that have been with me long-term, which is great because it means I’m keeping them happy.
One of the key challenges I see for schools is security, keeping sensitive data safe. There has been a significant shift toward this in the past year or so. Schools are soft targets for hackers, and insurance policies against cyberattacks require schools to apply greater vigilance than has been historically applied.
One area I’m especially passionate about is supporting other women in the IT industry. When I was studying at university, there were four females out of a class of a hundred students. I’d like to think this is changing, and I actively encourage more girls to enter the field. My interest in technology was initially sparked at high school where we started using PCs about once a week. I became fascinated by the components that make the machine work. I soon learned how to put a PC together and how to upgrade components, and that was my first insight into how technology works.
I think women bring a lot of value to the IT field, mainly because we approach problems from a different perspective. This can be a big advantage within team environments, especially when complex problems must be solved almost daily. I would love to see high schools encouraging girls to pursue careers in IT and break down the notion that it’s a male-dominated field.
Looking forward, a student who starts a career in technology today can expect to work in areas such as robotics and virtual reality, fields with almost limitless opportunities. I’ve enjoyed my ten plus years in IT immensely and have been rewarded with a satisfying job that makes a real difference.
As I am now part of the Trident business and the bigger Spirit Group family, I look forward to learning new things, expanding my capability, and networking opportunities with my fellow Trident/Spirit team members.