If determination, grit, hard work and a practical outlook on life are the hallmarks of success, the focus of this month’s Consultant Spotlight – Eric Blevins – is a man marked for great things.
Because of his love for jazz, Eric originally planned on being a professional musician. He played baritone saxophone for years and in college music was his major. Even after a short stint in the Army, he used his GI Bill money to continue to study his first love, jazz.
But like so many of us at the early stages of our lives, Eric came to realize that music was not the stuff of a potential career. “I realized that music was a hobby, a love of mine, and that’s where it should stay.”
Being adept with computers Eric decided that it was time to change his career focus and enrolled in East Center College, Union, MO. (known affectionately by its students as ‘Harvard on the Hill’) to hone and master the skills for a long-term career.
A quick learner, he began working as a customer sales and support rep for a national cellular company, selling and servicing cell phones. That led him to become a support supervisory and team leader with the company as he grew his IT skills. Then off to a national cell phone provider in sales and technical support, and then to a national cable company where he grew his technical capabilities and was introduced more intensively into the world of networks.
It’s here that Eric discovered his second great love…no make that his third. His second great love is his wife Angie of ten years and their two wonderful daughters, Isabella, 6 and Eliza, 4 months. Coincidentally, (or was it?) ten years ago he gave up the idea of music as a career and decided it was time for a “real career.”
His third great love became networking. “I really had no background in networking, so I had to start from scratch,” Eric said candidly. He launched himself into Network + to get an in-depth understanding of the field and realized that he had a real aptitude for it and that that this is where he wanted to be.
“I decided to test myself with the hardest networking challenge one could face – trying to become a CISCO certified network associate. They set the bar for the field. I felt if I could master that, then I could accomplish anything,” Eric said with pride.
And he did, in June 2006. With that skill and competence now a part of his resume, NetEffects found him, interviewed him, and hired him to work with one of the world’s largest Internet service providers.
As an event manager for the common-backbone group, he uses his knowledge of, and skills in, networking to serve as one of the company’s interface liaison and problem solvers with its many networking groups.
“NetEffects is one of the best companies I’ve every worked for,” Eric said. “Candidly, there is really no comparison between it and other employers. I’ve worked with both large and small companies, and even the small firms didn’t care as much about their employees as NetEffects does. I’ve already recommended NetEffects to my friends. They will love it here.”
Eric’s hobbies include hiking (which he does weekly with his father-in-law), native American history (his great grandfather was Cherokee and his great-grandmother was Choctaw), participating in native American Pow-Wows and historical Rendezvous, and his newest challenge, to become a contributing member of the Masons, where he is involved with the group’s many charitable programs. Currently he is working with them to establish a statewide database for missing children to assist parents and law enforcement in their efforts to find those who do go missing.
“You need to prove yourself every day, that’s my attitude when I get up every morning,” Eric said. “Everyday is an interview with life, so I’m striving to always do the best I can.”