Will Jurie is one of Intergen’s youngest infrastructure consultants. He joined the company about three years ago and has since been involved in a number of different projects. The most recent one - being contracted to work with Microsoft in the US running the vendor’s demos at all the big events - came as a complete surprise.
Jurie and his girlfriend Bridget were on the beach in Thailand during a two-week holiday when he decided to check his email. That was when he got the news that he’d be flying to the US for a few weeks worth of work with Microsoft.
“I didn’t know how to take it at first,” he recalls.
He’s since come back from the first US project with Microsoft and has this week flown back to start a second one. “It is a pretty awesome experience,” he says.
In the last couple of months, Jurie has been dividing his time between both sides of the Pacific Ocean, wearing the Intergen hat in New Zealand but combining it with the Microsoft assignment in the US. There, he does “a bit of everything”.
“There is a bit of software development but mainly showing off their server operating system and management software,” he says, adding that the work mainly involves “wrapping real-life customer scenarios around it”.
This isn’t Jurie’s first overseas work stint. Before settling back in Wellington, where he was born, he lived in Australia and England where he worked in a number of IT roles. Wellington is where he is still currently based as part of Intergen’s Infrastructure Consulting team. “Being the youngest member of the team I currently work with, I’ve been lucky to leverage their 20 years plus experience in the IT industry. When I joined the Infrastructure Consulting team I was given a great opportunity to learn from their methodologies and past experiences, which is something that’s difficult to pick up on your own accord,” he says.
He began his IT career working on a service desk and in various support and engineer roles in Australia, before making the move to London where he continued to work in IT. He says his overseas experience gave him the ability to return to Wellington and “secure something permanent”.
“Along the way I’d realised that Microsoft was the leader in the enterprise software space and I began sitting exams to gain Microsoft certified professional qualifications. These qualifications greatly helped me in job interviews and probably more so in the past few years at Intergen moving from an internal engineer role to a customer facing consultant,” he adds.
The majority of his days at the Intergen Wellington offices involve customer project work. “As the primary Office 365 resource within Intergen I spend a lot of time fielding pre-sales enquiries from our BDMs and customers, as well as putting together documentation to assist with bid responses, proposals and internal processes,” he says. Jurie sees uptake of Office 365 ramping up in New Zealand, after a slow start when it launched in June last year. “We’re seeing more enquiries coming through,” he says, adding that he expects demand to continue to rise.
“Being closely aligned with Microsoft we’ve got a big 12 months ahead with the launch of Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 and the constant updates to Office 365. The new capabilities of these products are a big leap ahead of the current technologies and we’re already seeing a lot of interest from new and existing customers,” he says.
In spite of now hopping back and forth between New Zealand and the US, Jurie remains passionate about his work on local grounds and says he is privileged to work with Intergen and enjoy the company’s close relationship with Microsoft. “Intergen’s relationship with Microsoft gives us access to bleeding-edge technology before it hits the market so there’s a great opportunity to play and test the latest and greatest tools. Working with these products as well as being part of a great team and company with an awesome culture is the icing on the cake.”
Where do you live now and where did you grow up and have lived before?
I was born in Wellington and my family moved out to Lower Hutt when I was seven. Made the move back into the City at 20 and have lived in Australia and England before settling back in Wellington.
Are you married?
Not married, but my girlfriend Bridget and I have been together nearly three years.
What are you currently reading?
I’m not a big book reader. Most of my reading involves tech blogs and articles related to the products I work with. In saying that, the last book I read while on holiday was Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts which I really enjoyed.
When you were little, what did you think you would be when you grew up?
I grew up playing with, breaking and fixing computers so I’d always hoped I could somehow land a job that would allow me to do that – only now with less of the breaking part.
Do you have any favourite sports?
Plenty. I’ve played rugby since I was seven and still play for the Marist St Pats club in Wellington. I’m a fairly regular golfer and got into road cycling last year to complete the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. Add indoor soccer and mountain biking too when time permits.
What's your favourite gadget?
My Windows Phone 7 which I couldn’t do without. I rely pretty heavily on email, IM and social media so having access wherever I am is pretty important to me. I was a big iPhone fan until recently but haven’t look back since moving to Windows Phone.
And your favourite website?
Hard to say, I keep close tabs on tech-type sites like Engadget and Lifehacker. But my Google Reader collection of dozens of work and personal sites is my go-to when I want a good read.
What's your drink of choice?
Nothing tastes better than a beer after winning a game of rugby.
If you weren't in technology, what would you be doing?.
I’ve often thought about this but I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love my job and would hate to think what I’d be doing otherwise.
What do you consider to be your major strengths or skills?
Coming from a technical background I really enjoy getting my hands dirty in server and virtualisation projects.