Like many millennial children, OTS Blackboard Administrator Katharina Norman grew up playing computer games. Unlike her peers, though, playing computer games led to her being hired as one of the youngest full-time staff members at Towson University.
“My interest in computer games led to an interest in computers,” she explains. “I became absorbed in everything computer-related, and eventually learned enough that my dad expected me to fix all hardware issues in the house!”
Katharina didn’t immediately pursue a technology-related career, though; her path to OTS had a few twists and turns. Instead of jumping into IT, she earned her Associate’s degree in Human Resources and landed a job with Fashion Bug. She enjoyed working there and was promised a job in their HR department, but the company went out of business.
“If Fashion Bug never went out of business, I probably wouldn’t have gone back to school,” she says. “I decided to pursue a Business Administration degree at TU only after they closed.”
TU turned out to be much more than school for Katharina: it was here that she changed her career trajectory and started working with technology again.
“I needed a job while I worked on my Bachelor’s, and Student Computer Services (SCS) seemed perfect,” she remembers. “They were flexible and accommodated my class schedule, and I got to work with computers.”
Katharina turned out to be an excellent fit for SCS, too; her people skills and IT knowledge set her apart from other student-workers, and she was promoted to SCS Student Manager after one semester. She helped run the SCS show until she graduated.
“Everything fell into place at TU,” Katharina reflects. “I’m glad I came here. TU has a very nurturing environment, and it’s helped me grow a lot.”
TU’s nurturing environment is one of the main reasons why Katharina decided stay on board. She was hired for a six month position with OTS after graduation, and she applied for a full-time role before her position expired.
“I knew that I needed to get this job,” Katharina says. “I love working at TU.”
Katharina’s current role, in some ways, is a culmination of her professional experience. As a Blackboard Administrator she not only helps run Blackboard, but she also functions as a teacher and customer service representative. When faculty and staff need training in online OTS workshops, Katharina is at the front of the classroom; when they have specific questions, she guides them one on one through phone calls. Just as she did in SCS—and with her family as the computer guru—Katharina uses her technological know-how to help people. But this position is also a glimpse into things to come.
“I’m constantly learning,” she says. “I’m learning skills for my current job and for future ones. Because of my time at TU, I’m prepared for whatever the future holds.”
Though she’s equipped to go anywhere, Katharina plans to stay at TU.
“I’m so happy I got this job,” Katharina beams. “I’m glad I came to TU.”
Written by Tyler New