Back in the day, I doubt you would have guessed that I would go on to work for some tech company called Rackspace… and, if that weren’t enough of a stretch, be training people on technical skills. You see, before coming here, I had no tech background at all. 0, zilch, nada.
In fact, immediately before joining the company, I was a professional smoothie maker. Before that… a zamboni driver. Both of these jobs suited me pretty well considering my hobbies of working out and hockey. However, I wasn’t really pushing myself professionally in the direction I wanted to go. Surprisingly enough, even as a kid, I’ve always dreamed of working in a tech-related environment.
Everything changed one day when a fellow hockey player asked me what I did by day. I responded that I was the King of Smoothies… yes, that good. He asked me if I was doing what I really wanted to do and I disclosed that I wasn’t entirely happy. He then asked if I had heard of Rackspace. To be honest, at the point, I hadn’t. So, I looked into it and found out that it was exactly the type of company I had always wanted to work for. I applied, interviewed, interviewed again and eventually they hired me as a Support Specialist I.
Now remember, I didn’t have any technical abilities and most people wouldn’t have guessed that I’d be the guy to get the job. However, what you don’t know about me is that striving to be the best and beating expectations runs through my veins. I was in a position where I had to learn tech skills from the ground up and put them to work in the real-world. So, I did. I studied, learned on the go, asked tons of questions, battled my way through the challenges… and pretty much did whatever I needed to do in order to help our customers. Eventually, I become one of the more technical members of our team. Today, I am one of the team members that coaches and teaches new hires the necessary technical skills for the job. Crazy how fast life changes.
I joined Rackspace because I felt like I was joining a group of people like me. Passionate, outgoing, friendly and just plain fun to be around. I didn’t necessarily expect that my co-workers would go on to become some of my best friends, but they did. As a newcomer to San Antonio at the time, Rackers truly became my support network and they continue to be today.
I stay with Rackspace because of the same reasons I joined in the first place. I get to work for a super cool technical company and hang out with my closest friends daily. We get involved with fun projects and there is a sense of camaraderie unlike anything I’ve experienced elsewhere. Not a bad set-up!
Tom Mitchell joined Rackspace in 2008 as a Support Specialist for Mailtrust. Since that time, Tom has served in a variety of roles that have led to his current position as a Technical Coach on the Cloud Apps support team. Before joining Rackspace, Tom had no real-world technical experience. In fact, his previous positions ranged from smoothie maker to zamboni operator. Tom frequently shares his career history with new hires as they embark on learning technical skills for the first time.
In his spare time, Tom dedicates to perfecting his hockey skills… Yes, believe it or not, we have hockey in San Antonio. Tom’s commitment to physical fitness has earned him the nickname of “Muscle” around the office.Category: Rackers Tags: Hockey, Non-Technical Background, Support Specialist, Tom Mitchell, Why Im a Racker, Zamboni