Name and title:
Micah Swagel, Desktop Support Specialist
Has been at IXL for:
Hometown and current city:
Born and raised in Daly City, CA, and still living here now!
Life at IXL
Why did you join IXL?
I joined IXL right after graduating college last year. I majored in computer science, but I was looking for a different career path. I held a campus job that worked directly with students and educators, and I jumped at the opportunity to work for a company whose mission echoed my experience in enhancing education through technology. I’ve had a great time diving deeper into the world of IT.
What do you do at IXL? Give us a taste of what a typical workday is like for you.
A typical workday is pretty busy. I spend the mornings helping employees in our dedicated help desk channel on Slack and fielding any IT-related questions via email. Some requests are fairly simple, while others require more complex problem-solving. My afternoons are dedicated to working on long-term projects and ensuring that hardware and accounts for new employees are ready prior to their start date.
What are the 2-3 skills you use most in your job?
- Critical thinking: There’s such a wide range of problems that we face every day. More complicated problems have a lot of moving parts involved across platforms. I have to think critically to navigate through issues and get in touch with the right people.
- Attention to detail: Our team has a number of very specific processes that need to be followed. I take the time to ensure we’re addressing and documenting every step of each process. It’s important to have that documentation for the team, and it also ensures a smoother onboarding experience for new hires.
- Juggling tasks and anticipating deadlines: We have a high volume of requests that come in, especially in the morning, that coexist with ongoing long-term projects. I’ve learned how to prioritize and handle multiple projects simultaneously.
What has working at IXL been like during the pandemic?
Work has been very flexible. Most of what I do in my role I’ve been able to carry out at home. We’ve had at least one team member in the office at all times to ensure that certain hardware issues can be addressed immediately. I think in general my working knowledge and expertise has increased tremendously over the last year, and I attribute that to my amazing managers and team.
If you had to describe the ethos of IXL in one sentence, what would it be?
IXL is very collaborative and highly ambitious.
Life beyond IXL
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a big gamer, and I enjoy talking to friends on Discord. I also enjoy building Gundam model kits, getting milk tea with my girlfriend, and caring for our three petite air plants.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
McDonalds’ chocolate chip cookies. I will sit in rush hour traffic to snag two of those!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a firefighter, and I think this role fulfills that desire—IT teams put out figurative fires all day, every day.
How would your friends describe you?
Inquisitive, nerdy, genuine.