Employee Spotlight: Ian McGraw

26 April 2023

Here at Staff Boom, we take pride in celebrating the amazing achievements of our employees and recognizing their dedication and hard work. That’s why we’re excited to bring you our Quarterly Employee Spotlight series, where we highlight the incredible talents within our team and share their success stories. This quarter, we’re delighted to turn the spotlight on Ian McGraw and all he has achieved. Join us in congratulating him!

Ian McGraw, a Junior System Admin at Staff Boom, recently embarked on his new career in IT after a 25-year tenure in the mortgage industry as an underwriter and account manager. With a long-standing passion for information technology, Ian is thrilled to have found his true calling with a company that supports his growth and development.

We reached out to Ian’s supervisor for some thoughts on his performance, and the positive feedback we received rapidly spread throughout the organization. It was heartening to see leaders at various levels expressing their admiration for Ian’s outstanding work. His remarkable contributions not only demonstrate his exceptional abilities but also reflect the high standards that our organization upholds.

Nicholas Fedei, IT Director and Ian’s direct supervisor, shared, “Ian is an essential asset to our team’s success. His hard work and dedication are truly inspiring to everyone on the team, and this recognition is well deserved!” Angela Valencia, COO, added, “Since joining Staff Boom in 2021, Ian has played a crucial role in our growth and ongoing success. He embodies the essence of a team player with his positivity and incredible work ethic.”

To help you get to know Ian better, we asked him a few questions about his experiences and journey in the outsourcing industry:

Q: When did you start with the company?

A: In February of 2021, amidst the ongoing pandemic, I found myself lacking practical experience and facing the daunting task of breaking into a new industry. It was a particularly challenging period to pursue employment opportunities. Thus, I am immensely grateful to Staffboom for providing me with a chance to prove myself. Their willingness to take a risk on me during such uncertain times is deeply appreciated and has undoubtedly contributed to my growth and development.

Q: Tell us about your start in the IT and the Outsourcing Industry?

A: After completing high school, I enrolled in Cal State Long Beach to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. As part of the curriculum, I received some exposure to programming and computer training, primarily in the DOS operating system. However, an unexpected job offer from a friend’s father, who owned a mortgage company, lured me away from engineering with the promise of a more lucrative salary. I spent the next 15 years of my career in the mortgage industry until the unfortunate events of the Great Recession brought about its downfall. Subsequently, I explored various job opportunities, but none seemed to fulfill me. Hence, I decided to embark on a new academic journey and chose IT as my field of study. The dynamic and ever-evolving nature of IT appealed to me, and I was eager to learn something new every day.

Q: What qualities do you have that make you a good fit in IT and outsourcing?

A: In IT, the only requirement for success is a genuine eagerness to learn. The field is constantly evolving, and complacency is not an option. While the concepts I learned over 20 years ago in college provided me with a foundational understanding, very few of those skills are applicable in today’s modern IT landscape. Fortunately, I am employed with an organization that recognizes the importance of providing its employees with the necessary resources and support to keep pace with advancing technology. Moreover, I am privileged to have a supportive and knowledgeable manager who encourages me to pursue growth and development continually.

Q: If you were not in Outsourcing, what would you like to be doing?

A: If I didn’t have to work, I see myself embarking on a new adventure: exploring the world from the comfort of a boat. For over two decades I have looked in wonder at the adventures of others in the sea, I would love to finally be able to participate myself and get to explore a bit of the sea.

Q: What methods do you use to stay motivated and focused?

A: Keeping motivated is difficult. There are instances when I am facing a challenging problem or trying to grasp new software, and it feels like I am making no headway. What I have found works for me is to shift the focus to a different task and come back to the issue a little later, normally my mind will subconsciously work through the issue and by the time I get back to work on it I will have the answer.

Q: If you could sit down with your younger self, what is one piece of advice you would share?

A: Although it may sound like an excuse, I am genuinely happy with my life. If I were to meet my younger self, I would choose not to interfere and instead keep a safe distance. This is because any attempt to change the course of events could potentially lead to unintended negative consequences. While there are certainly aspects of my past that I might want to change, my love for science fiction has taught me that even the smallest alterations can set off a significant chain reaction – a risk I’m not willing to take.

Q: What’s something you do outside of work that would surprise your co-workers?

A: On weekdays, my extracurricular activities are quite limited. However, come weekends, my wife and I love taking our furry companions for strolls and indulging in any activity that involves water. Personally, I love listening to folk music and sea chanties. But the my wife does not share that love, so I have to enjoy that by myself.

Q: What is one thing you can’t live without and why?

A: Undoubtedly, the answer to this inquiry would be my cherished circle of loved ones. While solitude can be enjoyable, it is nothing compared to the unwavering love and backing that I receive from my family and friends. Their presence and support not only uplift me during trying times, but also magnifies my joys manifold.

Congratulations, Ian! We see the great work you’re doing and really appreciate it. We’re excited to keep working together as we move forward. Thank you for your dedication and hard work!

Angela Valencia

Chief Operating Officer

Angela Valencia is Chief Operating Officer at Staff Boom. Angela brings with her over 10 years of insurance and operations experience, successfully building underwriting teams and implementing procedural improvements. Before joining Staff Boom, Angela served as Director of Training and Organizational Development, where she led the underwriting and training teams in the building and launch of an industry-leading agency management system for the insurance industry. Angela has been instrumental in the rapid growth and expansion of Staff Boom, overseeing all aspects of operations domestically and internationally, as well as the onboarding of new clients and solidifying existing client relationships.

Angela holds a Bachelor’s degree in history and a Master’s degree in Education, which have been pivotal in her roles of training, development and process improvement. She is a proud mother of five; one boy, two girls and a pair of identical twin girls. Her kids keep her busy, but they are the biggest driving force behind her, at the end of the day her title as mom is her proudest accomplishment.

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