Creating Your Own Career Pathway At FGF: An Interview With Joseph Bao

Joseph Bao has had an exciting career within the IT team here at FGF and he is a true example of Home Grown Talent. So much has changed since he joined FGF in 2013 and we decided to chat with him about what it’s like working at FGF and explore how far he’s come in the nine years he has been with us.

Joseph, how did you start your journey at FGF?

I started at FGF in 2013, so almost nine years ago. I discovered FGF through my sister who worked at FGF and suggested that I apply to the company. She still works here today! I started as a part-time Team Member working three days a week at the IT help desk or as we call it at FGF, TechCare.

In 2017, I switched positions to System Admin, where I helped set up and maintain servers and WIFI access. In 2018, I was helping our IT Team set up our new data center and the team noticed that I was interested in networking. From there I started to learn more about networking and made one final change to where I am now as a Network Admin. I truly found what I was interested in and FGF helped me turn that into my career.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I graduated from Seneca College and worked at several different IT companies before finding my way to FGF. I have a son who was born at the start of the pandemic, and it has been nice spending time with him. In my spare time, I like to build model cars and play around with computers – build them and explore new software. I always like to be in the know of what the next new technology is.

What do you do at FGF? 

I am part of the infrastructure team and I support the network side of the business. I have my hands in a little bit of everything IT-related. I am also part of the Systems Admin team and help our TechCare team; I am very involved with many IT-related initiatives.

I am currently working on updating the network across our sites. Over the years I have worked on many projects. Recently, I was part of the team involved with facial recognition scanners that allow entry to our sites, I was able to work with the vendors to support getting that up and running. I am always working on exciting new projects, and I guess that is part of the reason why I love FGF, there are always new and interesting things to work on.

What do you love about your role?

I love how fast-paced my role is. It’s all about speed, change, and uncertainty, you never know what is going to come up, and I love to solve challenges. There is always something new and interesting around the corner and it’s great that I always get to push the boundaries on what’s next. I really enjoy the culture and the people, it encourages me to do my best every single day.

In your opinion, what’s the secret sauce that makes FGF a great place to work?

The secret sauce is that everyone is so approachable and down to earth. Anyone from any level can openly bring ideas to the table and Leaders listen regardless of your position at the company. Everyone is so supportive and very helpful.

How have you adapted your style of work over the past two years (due to covid)?

Over the past two years, I have been working from home. This has been a blessing in disguise for me, my first son was born in 2020 so I have been able to spend time with him without having to take time off work. My Team Leader has been extremely supportive, and I have been able to get more work done during the day while still spending time with my son. In a way, I have missed the interaction with Team Members in the office, but when I do come in it’s very meaningful.

How has the IT team changed since you started at FGF in 2013?

Well to start, in 2013 the IT team consisted of only two people, and there were two more people on the software side. I have watched the team grow exponentially! Our team is so big now and it is just continuing to grow and grow. With the size of our IT team, we really are a tech company that bakes!

What advice do you have for anyone starting a job at FGF?

As long as you have the drive and determination, and you are willing to put in the effort, then this is the place for you. People are always willing to help and point you in the right direction. If you join the IT team, you can always come to me for support when you need it.

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