October 2015 Employee Spotlight: Amanda Woodburn

The October spotlight shines on Amanda Woodburn, the witty and adventurous Project Manager. When she’s not, well, managing projects, she can be found hiking with her trusty canine and dreaming of empanadas. Keep reading to get a brief geography lesson and learn more about Amanda!

Q: What is your role at the OCIO?

I am a project manager.

Q: How long have you worked at the OCIO?

Three years in February

Q: Have you worked on any large projects since you’ve been here?

Yup! The largest projects I’ve worked on have been the email project, Service Now implementation, and IPTV project.

Q: What are you currently working on? What does a typical day look like for you?

Right now I am closing the IPTV project and working on SOCC data center network firewall and Mount Hall projects. There is no such thing as a typical day for me, but a lot of my daily activities revolve around problem solving and removing barriers for the very nice people I’m always bugging about deadlines.

Q: What do you like best about your job?

It’s always changing! It’s impossible to feel bored or unchallenged in my position because I’m always working with new people and units on new initiatives with new technology.

Q: Did you always know this is what you wanted to do as a career? (If not, do you have a fun childhood dream job?)

You’d be hard pressed to find a kid who dreams of being a project manager, let alone knows what a project manager is! I was a total drama geek and wanted to be an actor.

Q: Where have you worked before this?

Most recently I was an app dev project manager for Veeam Software and, prior to that, a high school English teacher for Columbus City schools.

Q: What was your very first job?

My very first job was designing websites for local businesses and the University of Wisconsin - Superior. I could turn out a mean looking design, but the usability and code was… well, let’s just say there is a reason I’m a PM.

Q: Where did you go to college?

I started at the University of Wisconsin and then received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at The Ohio State University.

Q: Where are you from originally?

North Dakota. No, it is not in Canada. Yes, it is different from South Dakota.

Q: What is your favorite place to visit?

Ashville, North Carolina. It’s a gorgeous, active city in the Blue Ridge Mountains with a thriving art scene, endless outdooring opportunities, and the highest number of breweries per capita in the US.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel extensively outside of the US, so right now I’m trying to get to know my own country a little better. I’m dreaming of hiking and camping in Alaska.

Q: Do you have any family?

I have a blue heeler, border collie mix named Otis. He’s the coolest.

Q: Do you have any hobbies?

On weeknights you’ll find me painting or making music with an eclectic group of friends, and on weekends I escape with my trusty canine companion to hike, kayak, backpack, and camp.

Q: What is something most people might be surprised to know about you?

I am high energy and often described as “a character”, so at this point I don’t think anyone I work with would be surprised by anything.

Q: Favorite place to eat in Columbus?

I dream about El Arepazo’s empanadas. The Gay Street location has the best menu by far.

Q: Best concert you’ve ever been to?

The Flaming Lips in Chicago in 2009 or 2010. There were glitter cannons and Wayne Coyne crowd-surfed in a clear inflatable ball.

Q: Favorite quote?

My favorite quote isn’t work appropriate due to (minor) foul language, but the sentiment is perfect. If you’re ever looking for a zinger about art, pretention, perceived value, and tacos (and who isn’t!), Bukowski is a good place to start. That guy really understood that art is for everyone and tacos are the best.

Q: Do you have a favorite book or movie?

The two books I’ve reread the most are Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

I don’t have a favorite movie, but I prefer low brow action and horror films. Bonus points for Nicholas Cage. I’m not ashamed.

Q: It’s 9 p.m. on a Saturday. What are you doing?

Knitting tea cozies with my elderly neighbors while watching C-SPAN as well as discussing responsible citizenship and our favorite Barbara Kingsolver novels, of course.

Q: Give three adjectives that best describe yourself.

I wouldn’t dare.

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