Develop and maintain computer systems and applications. Be responsible for network safety. Help cities make smart decisions about technology to help the city run even better.
Why she shows up every day: This job really is so much fun, because it’s something new every single day. One day you’re working on a public safety application, and another day you’re working with parks and recreation. Then someone in public works needs your help, or the community development staff needs assistance … everybody is your user, and that variety is rare to find anywhere else.
When I’m out and about in the community I’m proud to think, “Yep, this is something that my team helped with,” or “this is something my co-workers worked really hard to accomplish,” and I can see all the effort they have put in being appreciated by people in my neighborhood and my community.
How she got the job (and how you could too): I have a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, and I worked in healthcare information technology for about 12 years before I decided to switch to Eden Prairie.
I think my motivation was to work in the city I live in. I have lived in Eden Prairie for the last 12 years and have always been fascinated by city government. So, as soon as the opportunity came up, I applied for a position at the city. I was fairly confident that I would be able to use my experiences from previous positions in the private and nonprofit sectors and apply them to make a difference here. I’m very happy I took this opportunity!
What’s the job like? We take care of IT infrastructure for the city — we have varying technology requirements across various city departments. For example we work to ensure applications, phones, workstations etc. for public safety (police and fire) are robust and 24-7, because they are 24-7. Departments such as public works, community development, parks and recreation also have several applications that allow city staff to interact with the community in various ways — such as phone, email, the city website, the SeeClickFix app for reporting issues, and many others. The challenges come from providing the best quality of services while staying within what your budget allows you to do.
The information technology department is a small group, and everybody gets to learn and work in help desk support, security, network, applications support, and more. There are no silos — we work together, and I think that in itself is quite unique.
Are you interested in learning more about a city career? One great way to get advice is to contact someone in your own city or a city nearby. You can ask questions about the job and learn more about training programs that may be available. Connect to city websites and city contact information through the League of Minnesota Cities.