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From telecom to networks...

By telecomguy9 ·
Hi all,

I've been working as a telecommunications analyst for a non-profit company for almost five years. Our IT dept. is only 9 people large with a director of IT, an applications mgr., a helpdesk mgr (my boss), a programmer/developer, and a few helpdesk techs. We have about 30 servers. I just finished my bachelor's degree in business administration and will be starting on a master's in networking & communications mgmt in less than two months, and I might even double major in management of information systems. I have no current certifications and have put them off while working on my formal education. That seems to take all of my study time right now and will for the next 2 to 3 ? years (depending on if I double major).

Ultimately working with networks, working with servers, switches, routers, etc. is what I want to do. I love playing with these things (obviously not live business networks). I have very little real server or network admin experience, however. I do the basics on a weekly basis ? setup new users, e-mailboxes, create shares, deal with permissions issues, etc. ? all the basic stuff, but I want more. I was thinking of talking with my boss about giving me more exposure to server/network admin work. I'm sure he'll be open to it. He's a great boss that wants to keep his employee?s happy and allow them to grow.

My problem is that I?m not sure where to start in my request. He might ask me for ideas on what I might want to start with, what I might want to do, what my plan of attack is for gaining this knowledge. In other words, he might not just take over and say ?Okay, this is where you should begin; start with this than go to this, than this and that, etc.? When I sit down to talk with him I?d like to come to him with some ideas for where I could get in on the action, so to speak. One thing that I have thought of is setting up our network to use WSUS. I think that would be great exposure for me and would absolutely force me to learn some things. But so far that is all I have come up with. Paid training in Active Directory or anything else networking related is likely out of the question as this is not my primary responsibility. Do you have any ideas where a good place is to start when you?ve had very little exposure to truly administering servers and networks?

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