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Connecting the World
Network your way to a great career in the on-the-go telecom industry, which is better, faster and stronger than ever before, thanks to 5G and its ability to connect the world ever more quickly.
With society’s insatiable appetite for faster, better connections, on-the-go access to everything, and entertainment at their fingertips, telecom is the place to be. And it’s a field that isn’t slowing down.
Deloitte’s 2019 Telecommunications Industry Outlook notes that while 5G is poised to usher in a new world of opportunities, voice-assisted technologies and Internet of Things (IoT), including the connected car and home, are set to take the industry by storm.
Here four professionals in a variety of roles across the telecom industry share their work in this challenging and growing field that’s connecting the world like never before.
Larson Helps TDS Telecom Manage Network & Construction Projects
Anna Larson works to ensure TDS Telecom’s network builds and construction projects stay on time and budget.
Larson is a project coordinator on TDS’s route acquisition team, where she leverages her project management skills to streamline tasks for the team, such as obtaining private easement, land leases, and necessary permits, as well as maintaining project schedules, budgets, and expenditures.
“Essentially,” says Larson, “my role is to organize the route acquisition team to ensure we’re in alignment with the entire network engineering and construction department.”
Larson was drawn to the project coordination field as she enjoys “tracking the many moving parts of projects.”
She elaborates: “I enjoy coordinating with the route acquisition team to determine which tasks are needed to complete a project on time and then delegating the tasks out to the team. I also enjoy the fact that project coordinators are able to take on special projects, which helps us develop new, essential skill sets.”
Larson has been with TDS Telecom for just a little more than five years. With several friends at Madison, WI-headquartered TDS, she was drawn to the company for the great things they had to say about its work-life balance and diversity efforts.
“As an advocate for diversity in my own life, I felt I’d enjoy working for TDS due to their efforts for diversifying the company and the raving reviews that my friends gave me about equal treatment and work-life balance.”
Larson is chair of TDS’ Our Heritage Employee Resource group (ERG).
“In the Our Heritage ERG, we act as a voice for diversity and inclusion within TDS, and align with the company’s overall vision that all employees have a seat at the table of diversity and inclusion. We do this by ensuring every employee has the opportunity to share their story,” she says.
Larson is an advocate for diversity and inclusion because of her own life experience. “I learned from my childhood, and present-day discrimination, that I want to continue to help advocate for people of all heritages to be treated kindly and with respect,” she shares.
“I want to show my peers, my coworkers, my friends, family, and my son that by opening our minds there’s a whirlwind of cultures waiting to be discovered, and if I can do something to help build a more diverse workplace and community to live in, then I’ll be happy.”
To be successful in the workplace, Larson shares this advice: remember that everyone is a leader.
“You don’t need to be a manager, director or vice president to be a leader. You can lead others and make changes in your workplace or community by advocating for what you believe in and making your voice heard,” she states.
To specifically succeed in telecom, it’s important to be open-minded and willing to learn.
“The telecommunications industry is thriving and is a fast-paced environment. By being open-minded, you’ll allow your internal and external networks to grow, thus providing yourself with safety nets when you run into challenges at work and need quick answers. By being willing to learn, you’ll thrive in this environment. There are so many unique opportunities to get involved with, and as long as you put the effort forward, you’ll become a more valued contributor as time rolls on.”
Find career opportunities with TDS at tdstelecom.com/careers. Connect on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.
Wong Helps Ericsson Successfully Deploy Its Networks in FL
Dave Wong helps ensure Ericsson’s operations in Florida - and the Southeast - run smoothly.
“In my role I oversee all of Ericsson’s project operations and finances and work directly with the wireless operator to ensure we meet their needs when it comes to our projects,” says Wong, a regional director with the company one of the country’s largest wireless operators that has global headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden and U.S. headquarters in Plano, TX.
Most recently Wong was involved in deploying 5G technology in a statewide network modernization program. The program, he explains, involves upgrading every cell site with new 5G radios and associated antenna systems that provide wireless devices with their data connectivity.
Wong has worked in the wireless industry for more than 25 years, serving in various leadership roles at companies large and small. His goal was to garner experience, insight, and perspective across various sectors of the industry in order to develop a broad and well-rounded understanding of the entire telecom ecosystem. However, one aspect that he had yet to experience was the equipment manufacturing side of the business.
“So when I was recruited to Ericsson in 2012, I accepted the opportunity,” he notes.
What Wong enjoys most about his job is developing people for success, and, as a highly competitive person, achieving goals that sometimes seem to unattainable.
Wong adds that what makes Ericsson a great place to work is its focus on its people, its customers and innovation.
“Ericsson is a global leader in telecommunications with more than 49,000 patents, and for a company to remain in business for more than 143 years, you must be doing something right,” he says, adding that the company’s diverse portfolio of products and services made his decision to join Ericsson an easy one.
The son of a retired in the U.S. Army Colonel who was also a pioneer in the wireless telecommunications industry, Wong shares two pieces of advice he gleaned from his father: first, learn as much about all facets of the industry to understand how to be most effective in any given role for any given company.
Second, if you’re fortunate to eventually lead a group of people, then hire people who are smarter than you and focus on removing their road blocks. In doing that, Wong says, “you’ll always be successful.”
To succeed in the wireless industry, always be willing to think outside the box. In addition, “don’t limit yourself by your background or the degree you have or don’t have. Find something you’re passionate about and go for it.”
He also suggests learning about technology, the evolution of wireless, and where the industry is going.
And, lastly, “hone your people skills, your leadership skills if you want to lead people, and your organization skills, and learn to see things through other people’s eyes.”
Find career opportunities with Ericsson at ericsson.com/en/careers. Connect on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Munthe Helps Cox Communications Successfully Launch New Products
When Atlanta, GA-headquartered Cox Communications has a new product to launch, Lystia Munthe helps ensure that happens in a timely, cost-effective manner.
“Currently, I’m managing projects that launch new products in our markets,” says Munthe, a project management specialist. “I’m responsible for ensuring the products launch on time and within budget and that the project team follows the company’s governance process.”
She’s currently working on a project to update one of Cox’s legacy platforms, which involves significant coordination between the various teams within the company, its vendors, and its customers.
“I enjoy driving my team to achieve results, tackling obstacles and putting all of the puzzle pieces together,” Munthe says of her work. “Every project is different and has its unique set of challenges, so it’s always different even though there’s a process to follow.”
With the company for about 18 months, Munthe was drawn to Cox as she’d heard it was a great company to work for with a strong, welcoming culture.
“The culture we have here at Cox is truly something special,” she says. “I’ve never worked for or heard of many companies who put such a focus on their employees and having genuinely good people work here. Cox has shown me what it really means to care for your employees, whether it’s through their benefits, the campus amenities, and investing in our personal and professional development by sponsoring employee resource groups that host a variety of events or having a full toolkit of training workshops available to us.”
In addition to its strong culture and reputation, Munthe was also drawn to Cox’s LEAD Program, a rotational leadership development program that focuses on the project management discipline.
“I wanted to learn about project management because it’s a great way to learn about the business, sharpen my soft skills, and have opportunities to work on a wide array of projects.”
For career success, Munthe recommends developing your soft skills early on.
“While it’s important to know how to use certain tools and platforms, those hard skills can be taught. However, working on being an effective communicator and being able to drive results will go a long way no matter what you end up doing.”
When it comes to choosing a company, she further advises looking for one “where if they picked a random employee to be your manager, you’d be in good shape.”
She continues: “Make sure you’re at a company where most of the people there would care about you, develop you, and give you opportunities to fail, learn from those mistakes, and support you when you get back up.”
Find career opportunities with Cox Communications at cox.com/aboutus/careers.html. Connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Moore Leads Change at Charter
Marti Moore helps move company-changing projects at Stamford, CT-headquartered Charter Communications.
Moore is the senior vice president of technology services, which is part of Charter’s engineering and IT department. In her role she’s responsible for integration testing and program management of large, complex engineering and IT programs.
“We work to make sure we provide the customer with the highest quality products in what we’re offering,” says Moore, who’s been with the company for nine years.
For instance, her team is currently testing the roll-out of new guide capability for Spectrum TV.
“It has a whole new look and feel…how you get to menus, get to video on demand, DVR,” she explains. “It’s the biggest program we’ve had in the last five years.”
In addition, Moore’s team worked on the launch of Spectrum Mobile, the company’s entry into the cellular industry, last year.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force,, Moore has a degree in computer science, which has provided her the opportunity to go into “just about any industry.” When she realized that the prior industry she was working in wasn’t moving to digital fast enough, she made the switch to Charter.
“When I came here 10 years ago, I was excited to work on how to make that transformation, to take the company from basic cable to a whole new level as an entertainment provider company,” says Moore, who serves as co-chair of Charter’s business resource group for veterans. “We’re doing that.”
What has kept her at the company is its leadership, particularly CEO Tom Rutledge.
“I’ve never worked for leadership that’s so strategic and clear in what they want to accomplish. The leadership is top-notch, the strategy is clear, and it’s a growing company.”
She also appreciates the people she works with. “The team that I manage is one of the best teams I’ve ever had; they’re dedicated, smart and positive.”
While getting into the tech side of the telecom field does require technical knowledge, Moore notes that a four-year degree isn’t always necessary
“It used to be that you had to have computer science or engineering degree to have the right technical skills,” she says. “But today there are other options like community college to get the knowledge you need to move into a tech career.
For success in the field, Moore offers some advice: advocate for your team and yourself.
“You can’t just do a great job and think that’s going to be enough. Especially if you progress to director and above, advocate for your team and what they’re doing…the company would not be what it is without them. Make sure that you get out there all the great things your team is doing.”
In terms of advocating for yourself, Moore recalls a piece of advice a mentor at a prior employer offered: let people know you’re ready for the next level.
“You have to let others know you’re ready and why you think you’re ready. If not, they might not think of you. But if you make it known, they might think of you for that next promotion. That happened for me….I said I was ready, and was mentioned for a new role and got the opportunity. This is especially important for women, as we tend to be afraid to ask for promotion.”
She also encourages young professionals to start networking early. “Networks are built in and out of college - keep those early networks alive. One of the mistakes I made was not staying in touch with those early contacts, but it’s important to keep them vibrant and alive.”
Finally, take time early in your career to get a feel for different career paths, she recommends.
“Try different things. That’s totally okay if you’re not sure what you want to do. Don’t let yourself get pigeon-holed and pushed into a role that won’t move you forward in your career.”
Find careers with Charter Communications at jobs.spectrum.com. Connect on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
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