Reseller News

Rugby World Cup mission for Gen-i's Beckman

It only took Jane Beckman two days to land a job with Gen-i after returning to New Zealand from a long OE. Two years after that she became leader of the ‘Phone Rangers’ team.

The 29-year-old says she’s always enjoyed managing people.

“I’ve fallen into it quite a bit over the years. I was a swimming coach at university and a supervisor of other trainers at 19.

“I enjoy it and love that people interaction and the fact it’s challenging dealing with people sometimes.”

Beckman oversees a team of eight ‘rangers’ tasked with training Gen-i staff and clients nationwide on mobile phones, PDAs and applications. She is one of four staff in Auckland, with the others based in Wellington and Christchurch.

It is important for phone rangers to keep up with the latest releases and they make sure they are familiar with devices shortly before they reach the market, says Beckman. Windows Mobile 6 is another release that will likely have a big impact on their job.

The challenge of training people is due partly to the diverse range of clients the phone rangers help – one day Beckman’s team could be helping a group of bank staff, then real estate agents and plumbers the day after that.

As a charity project, the rangers train senior citizens to use their phones.

Beckman assisted the All Blacks and team management in the use of their mobile devices. She left for France earlier this month to continue the support in the early stages of the Rugby World Cup tournament.

The trip was an enviable perk, though she’s no stranger to the traveling life.

After a degree in arts and commerce at Auckland University and six months temping at rival telco Vodafone, she headed to Europe for more than three years and then a year and half in Japan and Thailand.

The jobs she held overseas varied widely – she was a postie in rural England, worked at a cooking school in Italy where she was treated to three-course meals daily and taught at a kindergarten in Japan.

Her favourite destinations reflect this variety – the beaches of Croatia, Zanzibar Island off Tanzania and the Polish city of Krakow.

However, after five years Beckman felt it was time to “sort my life out”, and part of the lure of returning was getting involved in social sports played in New Zealand.

The former competitive swimmer and triathlete now enjoys social netball and waterpolo. She even recently completed the Tough Guy and Gal Challenge in Rotorua, a race that sees entrants waist deep in mud across a five kilometre course.

Beckman says in the future she would like to graduate to a more strategic role at Gen-i, overseeing a larger team.