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Behind the tech: Meet Danielle, our Modern Workplace whiz

Danielle Greenfield

Technical Consultant

September 7th, 2022

On its own, technology is nothing without the talented professionals who have dedicated their careers to building expertise so they can help others leverage it to achieve their goals.

At Antares, we are privileged to have a strong team of such talented professionals with skills ranging from solutions architecture to data science, software development, AI and machine learning, and much more.

In this interview, we go behind the tech to get to know Danielle – our Technical Consultant, based in Sydney.

Danielle, what’s your story?

So, I was born and raised in the tropical pacific Island of Samoa. In my last year of high school, I received a fully funded scholarship to study Computer Science at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Once I graduated, I landed a role as a software developer for a small firm where I began programming in many different programming languages.

After that I moved to a role as an Intermediate Analyst Developer for Telecom NZ (now known as Spark), and that’s where my Microsoft journey started. A few years into my role, the organisation began its transition from a Java-based intranet platform to MOSS, SharePoint 2007. Back then SharePoint was quite clunky, but it had enormous potential and capabilities compared to other intranet platforms.

After that I moved to a role as an Intermediate Analyst Developer for Telecom NZ (now known as Spark), and that’s where my Microsoft journey started. A few years into my role, the organisation began its transition from a Java-based intranet platform to MOSS, SharePoint 2007. Back then SharePoint was quite clunky, but it had enormous potential and capabilities compared to other intranet platforms.

In 2010, I moved to the Central Coast in NSW and took on my first role as an official SharePoint developer. This eventually led to a role as a SharePoint Solutions Manager for Newcastle Permanent Building Society (NPBS). I had never managed people before, so it was a steep learning curve and I was thrown in the deep end – but with some great support. It gave me the opportunity to learn quickly, so now I’m a big believer in throwing people in the deep end! You just never know where it will lead.

When my family and I decided to move to Sydney, I commenced working remotely for NPBS. It was the first time they’d facilitated remote working, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as they were more prepared when COVID hit just 2 months after I went 100% remote.

Over the past 12 months I had become really intrigued by the concept of a modern workplace and how, with the right tools, businesses can very quickly streamline their operations and employee experience. I’m a big believer in using technology as a vehicle to help people become more effective in their role, no matter what they do.

That’s why I joined Antares’ Modern Work and Apps team. I’m excited to drive my career in that direction and help clients solve problems by using the right tools for the right jobs. I feel very blessed to have been given this opportunity and have learned so much in the short time I’ve been with the team.

If you weren’t working in tech, what would you be doing?

If money weren’t an issue, I’d spend all my time volunteering. My family and I are very active in our local church and its community outreach programs that help people in need.

At one stage in my life, I also wanted to be a photographer. So maybe I’d re-visit that again.

What’s the funniest thing that happened to you in lockdown?

I was on a video conference with about 20 people and had my camera on without blurring the background. My husband walked by, looked at me, then tried to slip out the back door of our house which was right behind me. Someone in the meeting yelled out, “Danielle – your husband is escaping!”.

There were plenty of incidents with my kids and video conferences, but that one with my husband made me laugh the most.

What’s your favourite cuisine?

I love the food from where I grew up in Samoa. Especially Oka, which is ceviche fresh tuna with freshly squeezed coconut cream and cucumber. My mouth waters just thinking about it. We eat lots of fresh fish and local ingredients in Samoa and, without fail, my parents always bring huge tuna fillets for making Oka when they visit.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I haven’t been to my homeland in several years so I would go to Samoa. I also recently visited Switzerland and would love to see the rest of Europe.

What would the ultimate weekend look like to you?

Spending the whole weekend at a beautiful white sand beach. I grew up at the beach, so a weekend there with my family and nobody else around would be amazing.

What’s something about you that no-one knows?

Not many people know that I was born and raised in Samoa. I also come from a family of lawyers; my sister is a Senior Associate in a law firm in NZ, and my dad is a Senior Supreme Court Judge in Samoa which is very high profile.

I lived in Samoa until I went to university in New Zealand where I met my husband while playing touch football. We didn’t even know we were studying for the same degree!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I’ve ever received is that it’s OK to fail. Our failures are ultimately what help us grow the most. So don’t be afraid, and remember that it’s all about how you pick yourself up after you fail.

That advice has helped me a lot in life and work, and is something I say to my kids all the time. Change your mindset, because you will never succeed if you don’t at least try!

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their career in tech?

Don’t be afraid to apply for a role even if you think you don’t have the technical skills. It’s your attitude that matters most. If you have a can-do attitude and are teachable, you’ll be surprised by how far you can go. Employers can’t teach you to have a can-do attitude, but technical skills can always be learned.

 

 

 

 

 

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