Team Deltek’s Ashley Gross: Building Her Career in Information Technology
In this month’s #TeamDeltek spotlight we interviewed Ashley Gross, a near 10-year Deltek veteran, who is part of our global Information Technology (IT) department. While things in the business world are far from normal, Ashely is supporting Deltek’s internal IT needs, making it possible for our entire company to flip the switch from 18 locations around the globe to becoming a virtual company overnight. As someone who came to Deltek as an intern, Ashley shared with us how her passion for IT, along with her desire for continuous learning and development, have helped her build a lasting career at Deltek.
Congratulations on nearly 10 years with Deltek! We know that you’ve been part of the IT organization throughout your time here, but you’ve jumped around quite a bit from city to city. What have you learned and experienced in those different roles along the way?
Thank you! My journey with Deltek started with YearUp – an internship program that provides young adults professional and technical skills and on-the-job-training. I submitted my application while still living in Arizona, and when I learned that I had been accepted, I moved back to Maryland. My first position with Deltek was a 6-month internship at HQ in Herndon, VA, as part of the desktop support team. From the beginning of my internship, I knew Deltek was the place for me as it provided a great diverse working environment, and tools for success.
After the internship ended, I was hired fulltime as an IT Associate on the same team, responsible for diagnosing and resolving technical issues. As time progressed, I was fortunate to advance through the organization and three years later I became an IT Support Specialist. In May of 2015 was the biggest change, I relocated to Dallas as the sole point of contact for IT in the office there. Just recently, I relocated back to our HQ office for a new role in IT management where I now focus on improving processes, providing task management for the desktop team and handling escalations.
Knowing IT has been a passion of yours since high school, how has the field or what you do, changed since you entered it in 2011?
Since joining Deltek (almost a decade ago!) I’ve seen a lot of changes in the areas our team is responsible for, including the hardware we image and deploy, how we store our data (cloud), and the process in which we protect our data (two-factor authentication). And let’s not forget the recent rise in cybersecurity attacks (ransomware) and the perpetual creation of software needed to combat these attacks.
I would say these changes are just a few of the examples of why our team takes security so seriously at Deltek and why we have processes in place to help protect our employees and their data.
Sounds like the IT field continues to evolve, especially in those areas your team is responsible for. How has working at Deltek allowed you to continue your education, work remotely and advance your skills to keep up with those changes?
Deltek has been an extremely flexible company to work for and a place where I have continued to gain many different skills and take advantage of interesting opportunities over the years. No matter where I’ve been located, in an office or remote, I’ve been able to work on a variety of different projects including the Zoom Corporate Rollout and Tech Refresh Program, with such a diverse group of individuals.
In 2018, I participated in Deltek’s Team Lead program, where I engaged in a hands-on curriculum that helped develop my public speaking abilities and broadened my understanding through team projects. As a result of this program, I was also able to enhance my leadership skills focusing on effective communication, strategic planning and individual organizational development.
I have also been continuing my education by taking some managerial classes through University of North Texas and LinkedIn Learning.
How as the recent shift to company-wide remote work impacted the IT department and what has the biggest change been for you and the team?
Our biggest challenge with company-wide remote work has been the impact of separation. Our team is accustomed to working together in an office and working on physical machines and having equipment readily available to image and ship. Now that we are not physically in the office, we must strategically plan and be creative with deploying and troubleshooting machines and equipment. It takes a team effort with various departments to make things happen, but since Deltek already had the tools and infrastructure in place we have been able to make the transition relatively seamless.
Speaking of working remotely, have you picked up any new skills during quarantine?
Yes, absolutely! I have added all sorts of new skills and have implemented new regimens. I now enjoy listening to various podcasts stations such as Serial, Darknet Diaries and Crime Junkie. These podcasts come handy when I’m taking my early morning hikes on the weekends to some of my favorite spots in the Virginia area; Scotts Run Preserve in McLean, Great Falls and Shenandoah National Park.
With working out I am also preparing more nutritious meals that I’ve found on Pinterest, in cookbooks and on YouTube. I have a selective palate, so it can be challenging to create healthier options, but I manage to find alternative substitutes. The latest meals I’ve tried to perfect are braised lamb with roasted vegetables and jerk shrimp over cauliflower rice. Besides my husband enjoying my meals, my 4-year-old Yorkshire Terrier seems to like his newly balanced diet too!
Quarantine has also allowed me to spend more time developing natural and holistic products for my hair, skin and hygiene. I’ve invested numerous hours in testing products to determine what best suits my skin. The body butters and body scrubs are my most favorite and most accomplished product!
Culture has always been an important part of life at Deltek. What is it about our company and its culture that you appreciate most?
The three things that I love about Deltek are 1) Camaraderie – the trust and understanding that teams have working together to make a project successful. 2) Excellence – what we do, and we do it with diligence and integrity. And 3) Workflow – when you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life! This is my version of Mark Twain’s quote “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
You mentioned that the camaraderie at Deltek is something you really appreciate. Do you have any mentors in your life, either in the office or outside of work, and how have they influenced your career?
It might sound cliché, but I have to say my mother has been the biggest influence on my career. She has always taught me to have faith, forgiveness, focus and diligence. She worked hard to instill solid values in me and has always been my biggest cheerleader. She told me I could do anything, taught me to learn from my mistakes and most importantly reminded me if you fail, get up, dust off and try again!
I’ve also been fortunate to work with three wonderful mentors here at Deltek. It’s great when you find individuals who are interested in your goals and want to invest the time into making sure you reach them. Two of these mentors have helped me specifically with work-life balance and being a woman in the IT field. And all three of them have challenged me to continue developing my technical skills and study of IT. They always keep me on my toes!
Finally, in each #TeamDeltek Spotlight, we like to ask, of the nine company values, which value resonates most with you?
If I had to pick just one of our values it would be collaboration because I love working with others, I believe in teamwork AND I love to see a good project come to fruition! It requires communication from many individuals who bring their own ideas to the table, yet can come together and focus on one thing.
About Ashley Gross
As a manager in Deltek’s global Information Technology (IT) organization, Ashley Gross is responsible for supporting the internal IT needs of the company. Ashley joined Deltek as an intern in 2011 and has grown and advanced through the organization learning new and varied responsibilities. Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn.
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