August 14, 2017
NAMIC Blog: BEGINning with NAMIC
By Matthew D. Anderson
By Matthew D. Anderson (NAMIC-Minnesota Member)
My career within Comcast has spanned twelve years and multiple departments: what started in Customer Service evolved into six years in CommOps, expanding my technical and company knowledge and leading to my present career in the Operations Center of Excellence Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial Service Desk (XOC HFC Desk, or XOC). My daily mission is maximizing network health and customer satisfaction and though I love the XOC, my journey isn’t over yet: I’m two classes from obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Business and with this and the extensive knowledge I’ve gained in the XOC I plan to advance my career either into the headend, mastering increasingly vital network components, or into XOC leadership where I can cultivate a diverse teams’ talents with the aim of meeting and exceeding (crushing!) regional and divisional goals.
Throughout my career I’ve seen firsthand the importance and many-fold benefits of diversity. As an industry and as a nation diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and by taking this principle to heart The National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) facilitates the development of a diverse pool of talent to lead the future of the communications industry. As a fairly new member of NAMIC, two meetings in, I can already see their value and the key ways that membership will help me grow personally and professionally. For me, the best way is to illustrate these potential benefits is through an acronym I created, BEGIN, which consists of: (B)rand development, (E)nthusiasm, (G)rowth, (I)nternal knowledge, and (N)etworking. All of these are valuable traits that NAMIC helps to facilitate.
Brand Development – Developing your personal brand is increasingly important: through how we present ourselves, our actions, and our attitude we make constant impressions on others and further develop how we perceive ourselves. At the NAMIC event on 3/29/17 Chris Passaro, the Cities VP of Human Resources, stated that brand consists of three elements: performance, image, and experience. If we focus on cultivating these traits our brand will evolve positively and professional advancement will follow. NAMIC helps develop these traits by providing opportunities to learn from others’ experience, gain further resources to increase performance, and increase your image companywide.
Enthusiasm – NAMIC is not all about business, but also about having fun! Rather than just sitting in a board room every time the meetings and events can take place at a fancy country club, a bowling alley, a paddleboat on the Mississippi, or any other fun and interesting venue. Beyond the opportunities to explore new places, there’s also tons of delicious food! The meetings, cuisine, and venues bring out the enthusiasm in NAMIC members and everyone at the events is enthusiastic, happy, and engaging. This enthusiasm is contagious and I can see it helping me get back to the workday with a positive and upbeat attitude, ready to own the day.
Growth – Through NAMIC events, members gain valuable interpersonal skills by speaking with other members and learning from their unique perspectives and individual stories. Working behind a desk, though able to speak to the entire world, it’s easy to get secluded and limit communication to only those contacts necessary in the workday. NAMIC events pull me out of this shell by forcing me to think outside the box and see the world beyond my computer monitors. Beyond that, NAMIC speakers touch upon a wide array of topics like overcoming adversity, developing interview skills, and goal attainment. NAMIC will contribute to my personal and professional growth in these ways and more.
Internal knowledge – Though NAMIC members come from all over the communications industry, many I’ve encountered are fellow Comcast employees from a wide variety of departments and positions. Through attending NAMIC meetings I’ve met representatives from Customer Service, Loyalty, numerous Tech Ops centers, Finance, Onboarding, Human Resources, Marketing, Cable Stores, and more. Learning more about the functions and scope of these departments is valuable enough, however even deeper and more fascinating is the knowledge gained on how different departments interact and affect one-another. From these insights I can gain further understanding how the ripples of what I do in the XOC can radiate outwards to positively affect the entire company.
Networking – Building a career isn’t done purely on paper: often-times opportunities arise from relationships we’ve developed over time and positive impressions we’ve made with other professionals. As mentioned above, NAMIC provides opportunities to meet representatives from all over the communications industry and through these interactions NAMIC members can develop a diverse and thriving network. Through mutual professional support this network can be utilized for knowledge in resolving issues, research into different facets of the communications industry, or references to help in advancing one’s career. It also gives me an opportunity to be an ambassador for the XOC and spread awareness of our function and mission.
Advancing your career doesn’t just happen: it takes commitment, skill, perseverance, motivation, and honest self-evaluation and one cannot expect to advance if they’re not willing to simply BEGIN. Through developing my personal brand, cultivating enthusiasm, contributing to personal and professional growth, expanding internal company knowledge, and providing access to a diverse network of professionals in the communications field, membership in NAMIC will give me vital tools to continue to grow as a Comcast employee and help me BEGIN my journey into an even brighter future.