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Employee Spotlight

Nick Ferrer
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A Little Background

What brought you to Driehaus?

I was recruited by Driehaus as an IT intern through the Career Services Center at DeVry University. The internship was initially a three-month position but was extended several times and turned into a 17-year extension!

Tell us about your role:

I work in the IT/infrastructure department, supporting the technology needs of users and maintaining various IT systems used by the firm. Our team of three supports everything technical and share various responsibilities. However, my personal specialty is enterprise backups, Microsoft 365, and hardware including phones, laptops, monitors, and printers.

Since our team is small, it’s all-hands-on deck, so we often are assisting in each other’s roles in addition to our typical day to day tasks.

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What advice would you give to people in this role or people wanting to pursue this role?

The best advice I can give is have passion for learning and appreciate the problem-solving aspect of the job.

I have an enthusiasm for problem solving and learned quickly to enjoy the puzzles and challenges that come up. All the IT issues we handle day-to-day really break up the monotony of the job. When I started at DeVry, I was studying to be a developer. I quickly learned that interacting with people was something I needed in my career. So, find what you enjoy doing and what works for you. Enjoy what you are doing while you are doing it!

What is your greatest piece of advice from your time in the industry?

Be adaptable, work hard and fast, and always ask questions.

How has your role changed/evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The change was drastic. When COVID-19 hit, suddenly every employee needed to be able to work remotely with a laptop, which many didn’t have. Communication tools, like Teams and Zoom, that the firm didn’t use before, had to become a common place. There was a lot that had to be done on the back-end in order for the transition to be as smooth as possible.

We had to make sure everything was archived, train users on the newly implemented tools, change from physical phones and provide everyone with additional hardware.

How do you explain your job to friends and family?

I work in the IT department supporting everything from end users up to business systems. If it plugs in, I work on it!

What about Driehaus

What would you say is most unique about Driehaus?

I’d say the work environment and location are most unique. I don’t consider it a typical day in the office when I’m in a historical landmark that is ripe with exceptional art and décor. I appreciate the culture here; I have a sense of camaraderie with co-workers who I’ve known for such a long time.

What is your favorite memory at Driehaus?

I have several. The one that sticks out the most is this one:

As an intern, a month or so after I started, I was offered a job elsewhere. About a week in at the new job, I immediately regretted it. Lucky for me, I had left a sweater at my desk in the IT office. Gary was there when I picked it up and I saw it as an opportunity to ask for my job back. 17 years later, I am still here!

Nick after work

What are your hobbies?

My wife and I love to travel! The pandemic of course slowed that down. During lockdown, we got a dog, Kona, and a new TV, so I like to think I was maximizing my time at home.

I am an avid chess player (online these days) and enjoy biking and maintaining my vegetable garden too.

If money and time were of no consequence, what would you do?

I would continue to travel the world and cherish the experiences that come with visiting new places, like trying new foods and embracing different cultures.

If I had to pick a favorite, our trip to Lisbon, Portugal would be it! If you ever catch me on Teams or Zoom, my background picture is one I took from my time there.

Nick Ferrer

Systems Engineer

Began at Driehaus: 2005

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