Sam Ashton loves change, computers, skate punk music and The Phantom. If you’re wondering how he became IT Manager for Australia’s leading music supplier for business, read on my friend; you’ve come to the right place.
What did your career look like pre-Nightlife?
I was working in our family business, installing automated gates for residential properties all across Brisbane but had been on the look out for an opportunity in IT. I thought it was too good to be true when I discovered a Nightlife job ad for IT and music combined; but here I am. Computers have fascinated me since I was about ten. My Dad used to bring video games home (the code was printed out on a dot-matrix) and in order to play them I would have to manually enter the code into a Sony MSX microcomputer, which is kind of like a Commodore 64. For some reason I enjoyed this – go figure. I’ve worked with desktop computers since the early days of XT PCs which, for those who remember, took up half your desk.
You have been a Nightlifer for 15 years, what’s your secret?
There is no secret. As Nightlife has expanded, I’ve been provided heaps of opportunities to grow and learn and I’ve stuck along for the ride.
What roles have you undertaken in your time here?
Many! I started as a manufacturing technician doing IT support on the side, then moved into a dedicated IT support role. Following this I did system and network administration and was involved with product research and development. I’m now in IT management which gives me a great cross-section of involvement in my areas of expertise, and I get to lead a team of great people.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
One of our big achievements at Nightlife was implementing a remote support solution which allows our client services department to support our clients over the internet; this made things immeasurably easier for our clients, and made support a lot more straightforward and controlled for our team. Technology has come a long way in the subsequent years with mobile devices and cloud technologies giving infinite possibilities.
What do you most enjoy about your role?
Change – technology is always evolving, and every day is different from the last which keeps it fresh. Plus there’s something to be said for listening to sweet tunes all day; my team can mostly be found listening to alt-rock.
What are your goals for the future?
As a manager I am responsible for the careers and well-being of my team. We’re an expanding business and there’s always things changing and evolving – I want to make sure that they have the same career opportunities that I did.
On the business side of things we’re working to make everyone’s jobs easier, improving tools and technologies to streamline processes and workflow.
What’s the funniest moment from your time at Nightlife?
I’m not sure I’m allowed to tell any of my funny stories because they may further incriminate me. But I can tell you that I know the exact reasons for some of our more interesting policies, such as the ‘No Reply All Emails’ rule.
You have a habit of dressing in costume at Nightlife events, and we have the proof! What has been your favourite character?
I’m not sure if there is actually any proof… People keep telling me The Phantom used to show up to our parties, but I’ve never been there to see him.
Currently listening to:
My fall back genre is probably what you could call Skate Punk. Lately I’ve been listening to Bodyjar’s album Role Model; they’re a great Aussie punk rock band.
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