Administrative Assistant Intermediate

Administrative Assistant Intermediate

Danielle Thompson, LSA IT/UmichITAM
Administrative Assistant Intermediate

Author: April Caldwell
Photographer: Photo courtesy of Danielle Thompson

There probably aren’t many who would give up the opportunity to live in Scotland, but Danielle Thompson did. More than that, she has no regrets.

“I would never give up this career for Scotland now,” Danielle assured me.

Having seen first-hand the majesty of Edinburgh Castle jutting out over the sharp cliff edge that supports it, I’m surprised. It’s a pretty cool sight. But as the conversation unfolded, it became clear that seeing Danielle in action is an equally cool thing to see.

A native Michigander, Danielle grew up in Canton, but considered Ann Arbor her second home. “I spent a lot of weekends here with my older brother,” she said. “So I have fond memories of Pinball Pete’s and Nickels Arcade.”

These days, Danielle enjoys spending most of her free time at home in Hamburg with her husband, Jeremy and their pets, two cats and two dogs. The one thing that can pull her away from her home-life is live music. Danielle has been to hundreds of concerts, so many she has lost count. Good thing she still has every ticket stub and plans to re-tally that number one day.

In 1998 Danielle started as a temp in the Psychology Department, yet soon began to build a more lasting career at the University. Realizing that her interest and skill set were better suited to information technology, she transitioned from her student services position to a part-time position on Psych’s IT team. Five months later she accepted another part-time position with the Information Technology Asset Management team (UmichITAM).

“When I started in 2003 this was just a 10 hour a week job,” Danielle said.

An amazing fact when you consider that today UmichITAM acquires and manages software licenses for 19 units at the University with over 250 software titles in their library, including Adobe Photoshop and statistical software like MATLAB. In fact, UmichITAM may become part of NextGen Michigan, whose most recent project was the University-wide move to MGoogle.

The demands of a large university might intimidate some, but the challenge only thrills Danielle. She thrives in the dynamic environment, with its coffee klatsch and the in-house popcorn maker that keeps IT minds fueled. However, the fast-pace isn’t the main reason she loves her job.

“I feel like what I do is for the greater good of the University to help faculty, staff, and students do their job better,” Danielle said. “I like that we’re [UmichITAM] here to help.”

Not a surprising statement from someone who believes in offering the best customer service possible.

“It is obvious to anyone that works with her for a while, that she cares very deeply about providing high quality service,” said Christopher Brenner, senior data security analyst.

“She consistently puts customer needs ahead of her own,” said Crystal Borgman, IT asset management administrator. “It is largely because of Danielle’s efforts that UmichITAM has become a model for the rest of campus and a candidate for expansion to serve the wider university community.”

Just as she puts customers ahead of herself, Danielle is also quick to turn the praise she has received from her spotlight nomination toward the UmichITAM team as a whole.

“We’re really part of the big picture here.” Danielle said. “I’m proud of that.”

She is proud of her team and they are very proud of her. It seems that she was right: moving to Scotland wasn’t that great an idea after all.


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