Meet Mark III: An Interview with an Engineer
At Mark III Systems, we pride ourselves on our highly skilled and friendly engineers. To get a deeper insight into the inner workings at Mark III Systems we have interviewed one of our Senior Engineers, Joe Jurak. Joe has been with Mark III for 13 years and has a passion for technology, client success, and most importantly his family. In this interview, he discusses how he got started, a typical work week, his hobbies, and what motivates him every day.
1. How did you get started working in this field?
I went to university as a pre-med student with a double major in biology and microbiology. One semester from graduation, after doing a four-week hospital internship, I changed my mind about becoming a doctor; that’s a whole other story. I immediately changed my major to Management Information Systems and continued in school for an additional three years. I applied for a job at my school as Mail Admin on UNIX and maintained this job for two years while completing my degree. One week before graduation, I was offered a job with Eclipsys as an Engineer on their Medical Archiving Solution (AIX, Oracle, and Optical Storage). I traveled around the country implementing this solution in numerous hospitals for two years. This was how I got my start in IT. I’ve only worked with three companies in my entire professional Career: two years with Eclipsys, four years with Air Liquide in Houston as Open Systems Manager, and with Mark III for 13 years.
2. What is a typical work week like for you?
On Sunday evenings, I audit my calendar for the upcoming work week. I spend about 90% of my time with our healthcare customers on current and upcoming projects. Of this time, I usually have one or two director level meetings to discuss long-term planning and budgets. The remaining time I spend with managers and storage teams on project work, technology presentations, lifecycle planning, customer documenting, and training. The bottom line is that I spend the majority of my time with our customers in some capacity and I love that about my work.
3. Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
I attended The University of St. Thomas, Houston for my BBA in Management Information Systems. This was a very heavy programming degree which was just after the birth of the Information Systems Degree so it was very parallel to a Computer Science Degree; which St. Thomas did not offer at that time.
4. What do you enjoy most about your job and Mark III?
I love technology and I love our customers. Spending time with our customers on solutions and seeing the results following an implementation is very rewarding. In every case, we see dramatically successful results and improvements in the customer environment and that is always very exciting and rewarding. I also love teaching/training. It’s probably my single most favorite activity at Mark III.
And last but certainly not least, I love my Mark III Family. I have the honor and privilege of working with some of the most talented and genuinely ethical and sincere people in the world whom all share the common professional goal of providing the absolute best to our customers for every single project or request; no matter how big or how small.
5. Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies.
My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I have three beautiful daughters. Making them smile, watching them grow, and spending time with them is my absolute favorite thing to do. We love to swim, exercise, watch movies, play games and for vacations we love to go snow skiing. Our annual snow ski trip is such a fun and wonderful time for our family. We love the outdoors, clean mountain air and the snow. We usually take road trips to the mountains and even though it’s a long drive, it’s very enjoyable to us. We love that intimate time together on the road.
6. What excites you most about where the industry is headed over the next 5 years?
Competition breeds excellence and things are extremely competitive right now with what could almost be considered a paradigm shift in storage and compute technologies. I am particularly excited to see the evolution of IBM’s best in breed storage solutions and how they will continue to lead the way in the industry.
7. What’s the best project you’ve worked on? And why?
I would have to say my very first project at Mark III. I designed and implemented a new TSM Enterprise Backup and Recovery Solution (now Spectrum Protect) for one of our customers at the time. The reasons I enjoyed this project so much were not really related to the technology or the actual work that I performed during the two-month period of the project, but it was really more of a personal reward for managing my first Mark III Project very successfully. It was very memorable as it was a big project with a lot of complex moving parts and the customer was very happy with the results, and that was the biggest reward of all.
8. How do you like your coffee?
Cream and Sugar
9. Tell us a joke?
My daughter loves this joke – makes her laugh uncontrollably every time! Substitute Cow with anything and imitate the sound that thing makes —- by interrupting of course!
10. Is this glass:
A – Half Full? Always Half Full! I am one of the most optimistic people I know. I am always hopeful with an almost sappy positive outlook on life and situations. I love to be happy. I find that the older I get the more so this is true. I dislike negativity very much.
B – Half empty?
C – Doesn’t have enough ice?
D – Not a glass at all