Jennifer is the Content & Communications Manager for MATRIX. Her mission is to understand what information our communities want and need from MATRIX, and to deliver it in ways that are enlightening, engaging and in sync with who we are as a company. She loves pop culture, Oklahoma football, and the great state of Texas.
MATRIX Consultant Spotlight: Nahum Nicholas
This month’s MATRIX Consultant spotlight is on Nahum Nicholas, an IT Project Manager working remotely out of Atlanta for one of our national banking accounts.
Tell me about yourself.
I was born and raised in Atlanta, just like the rest of my family dating back several generations. I studied Art and Graphic Design at Georgia State University, and I always thought I would work in a museum specializing in Art History before I fell into project management. After graduation, I got an entry level job at a small company that eventually became EarthLink. I taught myself network engineering and project management, and worked my way up through the company. I specialized in network design diagrams, documenting the network and managing projects for network engineering. By the time I left, I was doing more projects than documentation, and that’s how I became a project manager. I was at EarthLink six years before I started doing consulting work, and I’ve been contracting ever since.
Why do you prefer to work contract jobs?
Contracting is exciting because it gives me a chance to be exposed to many different technologies and I get to learn more that way. I enjoy learning new ways of doing things and comparing different tools and methodologies across the companies where I’m placed. The biggest challenge with consulting is the perpetual job learning curve. It can be stressful to make a good impression while learning new systems. It’s a bit constant; once you learn a job really well, it’s time to move on and start over. But that’s what keeps my job interesting!
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of what I do is getting to work with people. Being able to come into a project that’s already underway and bring organization to it is a great feeling. My job is to make things work more efficiently and simplify the process. I’ve been a project manager for most of my career, except when I was a security analyst for a military organization with top secret clearance. While that was exciting, I discovered that I prefer project management because I love working with people.
My recruiter, Carmel, is the reason I joined MATRIX. She reached out after finding me online, and she was just so warm and caring. I was talking to other people, but I ultimately chose my current opportunity because of her.
What are you passionate about outside work?
I spend most of my free time doing animal rescue work. I’ve trapped-neutered-returned (TNRed) 25 cats and a dozen dogs. Specifically, with dogs, if I can’t find their owners, I help find them a new home. And I have a house full of cats that I’m always trying to find homes for. I have four dogs of my own, including my first rescue animal, Ginger (pictured below), who I found 18 years ago after she was run over and left for dead. In addition to working with animal rescue groups as a foster for cats and dogs, I'm also politically involved with the local county animal control regarding the euthanasia rate. I have a Barn Cat Facebook page which is used to coordinate pulling cats out of the kill room at animal control to place as barn cats on farms in the area. When I’m not working with animals, I like to paint and draw portraits. I also enjoy going to local concerts and plays.
What’s your favorite piece of advice?
Never give up; just keep going. Like the fable says, the tortoise won the race by plodding along. Put people first, always. Nothing else is more important than caring about others.