Manager Information Systems Interview

Position: Manger

Company: Essentia Health

Industry: Healthcare

An informational interview provides an opportunity to gain knowledge about a specific career or path. Additionally, it is a great way to build rapport and network with other professionals. We all create our own version of what we believe people do in certain job roles. We pull information from our education and other personal experiences to do so. Often, we barely scratch the surface of what the role actually entails. As in this case, I interviewed an IS Manager in the healthcare field. While I had an idea of what to expect I was actually surprised to find out much of the information I did. A look into the everyday activities really opened my eyes to the bigger picture of the role. I came to find that my idea and reality were quite different.

Could you please describe the typical kinds of writing you do and tell me a bit about each?

I am always getting e-mails throughout the day and I try to stay on top of them as best as possible. Because of the amount I try to get through them as quickly as possible which typically means a straightforward message of only the necessary information. The other type of writing would be for meetings, things like agendas or any other helpful aides that I believe will be helpful in a meeting I typically draft up a few hours ahead of time. This portion also involves collaborating with others in order to be as effective as possible come meeting time

What do you find most challenging about your day-to-day writing? What challenges do recent graduates face as they move from “academic writing” to “workplace writing”?

As I recently transitioned from Analyst to Manger I have found that, now I am responsible for more projects than just my own, people who I have never spoken with will reach out to me assuming I have been filled in on every step. This isn’t always the case and I have to make sure I know exactly what is going on before I reply, or there could be consequences. This has been one of the main challenges I am still overcoming. New graduates I feel struggle with formality at times. I have seen email threads where they don’t address senior leaders correctly. Most of the time it is not an issue but some of the projects we work on take months and a solid rapport could mean a lot in terms of how well things go.

How would you describe the balance between written and oral communication in your workplace?

I feel I do a lot of both types of communication. E-mails are a given everyday as far as written goes and I am usually attending at least 2–3 meetings a day where I am asked to speak on a specific topic. I find myself preparing more oral presentations where as e-mail is typically a back and forth of necessary information.

During this interview I was able to get some insight into how a manger communicates professionally. Information systems is typically looked at as an introverted type of work which shouldn’t involve too much communication. After this interview I found that, because they serve so many different areas within the organization, it requires a diverse set of communication skills. This gave me more motivation to focus on oral and written communication skills in order to thoroughly be prepared for the workplace. I enjoyed this opportunity and may even continue to request informational interviews with working professionals in order to network and gain insight.