By Robin Melendez-Martin, contributing writer and administrative coordinator, UIT
February 2017 – Leah Atinda is an IT specialist III for UNT’s Administrative IT Services whose workdays vary between helping users and working on projects in the office. Her duties include maintenance and installation of software and supporting our customers to resolve their IT issues.
“When I graduated from high school, my Dad decided to enroll me in a computer class, and that is when computers were in the DOS era," Atinda said. She enjoyed the subject, but nobody she knew could guide her about the career field, she said. "When I got a chance to go to college I had to go where my heart was. I am still in the process of building my career," she said. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management and an associate's degree with a focus in digital forensics, cybercrime.
The toughest and best thing about working in IT is that it is so wide nobody knows it all, Atinda said. "You often have to use the knowledge of others to actually do the job, I think it teaches you to value your team and work together. Information technology is always evolving, and one has to be learning each day to be successful.”
Leah uses both Mac and Windows PC on the job and said she does not have a preference for one over the other. When asked about a favorite app on her smartphone, “depends on the mood, I have a ton of them, I can’t decide which one is favorite,” she said.
When it comes to her personal time away from work, Atinda enjoys spending time with her family, especially her 20-month-old child, she said. A self-described picky eater, she said she would try most fruits and vegetables. She loves to travel and enjoys road trips, cooking, camping and being out in nature. Her dream is to visit all 50 states and has 20 to go! She also enjoys gardening, likes watching sports and enjoys aerobic exercise.
Her reading list includes “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, when to Say No to Take Control of Your Life” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, “The Power of Positive Thinking” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” The book she recently finished reading is “Make Today Count” by John C. Maxwell.
Her favorite reason for working at UNT is the unique family atmosphere, she said. “UNT feels like family even when you don’t know the people you meet.”
When asked to name someone she would mention as a mentor, muse or inspiration, she said it would be difficult to name only one. She credits her extended family members as a whole to making me who she is. "I come from a culture where you belong not only to your parents but the whole community."
When talking about Denton, Atinda said she likes the small village feel; “it’s great to be away from the big cities.”
Atinda's advice to incoming freshman thinking about a career in IT is to learn to trust one's self, and do your best; being yourself and doing what is required will make you successful. “IT is a wide field, learn what your passion is in the field and work towards that goal,” she said.