IT work often makes people think about experts who are deeply immersed in their work, surrounded by displays and monitors. Working in the University of Eastern Finland’s IT Services, IT Solutions Architect Tomi Kontio realised already in the early days of his career that experts working with technology solutions work, first and foremost, with people.
“It quickly became apparent that this work actually involves quite a lot of interaction with people. And I like working with people even better than I like spending time with computers,” Kontio says, explaining the nature of his work.
In the early 2000s when Kontio was studying computer science as his major and education as his minor at the University of Kuopio, he did an internship in the university’s Learning Centre. The university didn’t want to let go of a good intern, and Kontio was officially hired.
“My focus switched to providing support for technology solutions and for the development of learning environments. I gained new skills as new challenges came up. My attitude is that if I don’t know the answer to a user’s question, I’ll find out, and soon we’ll both be the wiser.”
Postgraduate studies lit a spark for professional thinking
Kontio’s career comprises years of work both in the public and the private sector. His first debut in a private sector company was as an App Developer, but he was soon pulled back to the university.
“When I heard about a vacancy in learning environment administration, I got interested and returned to the Learning Centre to develop the Moodle environment and other pedagogical solutions. Later, I also did some process digitalisation for HR, for example.”
Kontio has also taken leave to study service management and marketing, which has refined his thinking.
“My postgraduate studies also lit a spark for the business perspective. IT exists so that everyone can focus on doing their job. Computers should help, not hinder,” Kontio emphasises.
Kontio moved to the private sector for another couple of years, working as a Microsoft 365 consultant in a company’s customer projects. In January 2021, Kontio came back to the university, this time as an IT Solutions Architect.
“At the university, you can grow and develop in different roles, and thus get more responsibility. You don’t have to worry about getting stuck in basic work and repeat mode. Technology evolves and new opportunities are constantly emerging,” Kontio says.