Mike Rupprecht is the Technical Support Representative for the Colorado Convention Center. He’s been with Smart City Networks since August of 2022 and occupies a curious space within our company. A Technical Support Representative has to have a technical expertise along with stellar customer service skills, something that Mike has excelled at in his short time with our company. We caught up with Mike to chat about his unique role within our company for this month’s Employee Spotlight!
What first drew you to Smart City?
M: I didn’t have any prior experience in networking when I applied for this job. During my interview [our Data Ops Professional] said the company offered learning platforms that could help me learn the field. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to start a new career in networking.
What does your job entail?
M: My role is a hybrid between being a technician and being in customer service. I’ve kept all of the normal technician duties so leading up to shows we map out where all services need to be set, program switches, cross patch, and set all the drops. When shows are all set I use that time for my customer service role. On the customer service side I work with exhibitors on getting maps, choosing services, and getting payment.
So we have a lot of technicians and a lot of customer service reps, but as a Technical Customer Rep, you are in an interesting position as you have to have a deep understanding of our technology elements, while also being great at customer service. Is that ever difficult?
M: There can be times it’s challenging switching your mindset from thinking technically to doing customer service. I’ve had customer service experience from previous jobs which has helped make that transition more seamless so that I can communicate with exhibitors in a way they understand.
What do you think is the benefit of a company having a Technical Customer Service Rep position?
M: Since starting this position, it has been a great way to bridge the gap between customer service and technicians. Being a technician originally has made the customer service side much easier because I understand what information is needed to make it as easy as possible for the technicians to set shows. Also on the reverse side being in customer service I have a much better understanding of each booth when we go to set shows because I have been in contact with the exhibitors and know what they need.
What do you like most about your convention center and about Smart City?
M: Everyone at the Colorado Convention Center was very welcoming. This is a job that can become stressful at times when you’re preparing for a big show so being able to joke around with the team helps with that.
What has been your biggest challenge working with Smart City and how have you strived to overcome it?
M: The biggest challenge working here was definitely my lack of networking knowledge when I started. The other technicians have really helped me learn the field and I’ve also used our LinkedIn Learning platform to help me get my Network + certificate since starting.
Have there been any instances you can think of where you’ve used one of our 10 Business Principles in the Workplace?
M: I would say we use teamwork every day. There’s only five of us in the office so we are constantly working together to make sure shows run smoothly. We use lineups to make sure everyone is on the same page for upcoming shows and to delegate who does what task.
What advice would you give to new hires who are starting with Smart City?
M: Working conventions can get hectic at times and it can feel like you have ten things to do at once. I’m always writing myself notes to make sure I keep myself organized as well as stopping me from forgetting things.
To wrap things up, what is something fun that people don’t know about you?
M: My favorite way to pass time outside of work is playing video games. My two favorites right now are Valorant and Overwatch.
For more Employee Spotlights, check out March’s interview with Seattle Convention Center’s Crystal Daniels!