My Tech Career in Review by Chris Jeffery, Cyber Guru
25th August 2020
- Chris Jeffrey, Chief Guru, Cyber Guru charts his impressive career journey in tech, starting out CyberGuru as a hobby in 1997.
- Chris discusses the advice he would provide to his younger self along with invaluable tips for students and graduates looking to secure their first role.
1. Tell us about your journey from student to where you are now.
My interest in computers began at an early age. I started my own business, CyberGuru, in 1997 as a hobby. Throughout my schooling, I learnt as much as I could about computers. After school, I completed a Bachelor of Business (majoring in Human Resource Management) and Bachelor of Information Systems) at University.
I commenced as a Business Systems Graduate at CITEC in 2006. Here I progressed through a range of areas including the service centre, desktop and server support, followed by service management as part of their rotation program. I secured a permanent role as a Service Manager responsible for a client account. About a year later, I was seconded to another business unit for two years as a Vendor Relationship Manager, before I returned to CITEC and became their Enterprise Systems Trainer.
In 2012 I left CITEC to work on my - business CyberGuru (full time). CyberGuru has been operating successfully for 23 years now.
2. As a student what did you do to increase your chances of a securing a job upon graduation?
During university, I participated in various co-curricular activities inside and outside campus, which helped to build my professional network, including fellow students as well as lecturers and staff; many of whom I am still in contact with today. I also did voluntary work experience with various organisations to help me learn and develop new skills, as well as to build my expertise and reputation.
3. You are now a successful business owner with a couple of awards under your belt. Can you please tell us what these awards are?
I have won a number of awards. In 1999, I won an Intel Australia Online Awards Competition for a website developed at school. More recently, I won the ACS Queensland Young ICT Professional of the year in 2012 for my initiative and leadership in promoting and serving the ICT community. Finally, I have been appointed an Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion Alumnus by the Queensland Government in recognition of my work in the community to educate people in staying safe online and work with not-for-profit organisations.
4. Can you give one key piece of advice to current ICT undergraduate students?
Study hard but also enjoy the time whilst you are there. Take advantage of opportunities given to you.
5. What advice do you give students who are graduating this year about securing a job?
I believe it is important to reflect on what you like to do and set your goals to where you want to go. Selectively apply for roles along the path that you wish to take. You’ll find there are many ways through the journey.
6. What would you tell your younger self?
The biggest challenges and setbacks you face are your greatest opportunities.
7. You’ve been an ACS member for over 10 years now, can you give your top three reasons why you’ve stayed a member?
My main reason for remaining as a member is that I strongly believe the ICT sector needs to have a professional organisation that develops new talent, ensures professionalism and ethical behaviour is maintained. I also enjoy the development opportunities and networking with other like-minded professionals.
8. What do you look for in an employee?
Strong work ethic, honesty, loyalty, willingness to admit when they have made a mistake.
9. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have a young family and we love spending time outdoors together. I also do yoga.
10. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Technology is changing at an incredible rate and based on the evidence to date a COVID-safe future will likely be even more reliant on technology. The merging of these two trends will create new opportunities for the IT industry limited only by its imagination. The key to success here is to make a difference in people’s lives rather than creating technology for its own sake.