Going for Gold: Olympic-Level Advice for ITSM Professionals

Posted by on August 19, 2019

“Cherwell is my work family, and it really played a part in my transition to bobsledding for Team USA in Europe. This company has helped me become a better business woman, a better athlete, and a better person in life. I feel like Cherwell has always been open to supporting my journey.”

 - Sylvia Hoffman, Product Support Analyst

For Product Support Analyst Sylvia Hoffman, her passion for technology has always intermingled with her desire to compete as a top athlete. After four years as a university basketball player, she fell into Olympic weight-lifting. She made the international team her first year of competing, and went on to make three more international teams by 2017.

Following the 2017 competition in Taipei, Taiwan, Sylvia injured her back, but that didn’t stop her. Switching things up, she turned to bobsledding. Not only did she make the world cup bobsled team for the 2018-2019 season, but she was able to travel the globe.

“I represent Team USA, as an athlete. Once you represent Team USA, it’s a part of you and not just you that you’re representing. I’m representing my country every time I train with my international friends. We’re all in the this together,” shares Sylvia.

When she’s not representing Team USA, Sylvia puts on her other hat as a product support analyst at Cherwell. She was drawn to Cherwell for our strong culture, flexible work schedules, and focus on the customer, which align to passion: helping organizations grow. We sat down with Sylvia to translate some of her Olympic-level athletic experiences into advice for the ITSM world.

Tip #1: Keep At It

“Trying to become an Olympian is like trying to become a CEO or top-level IT company, it’s not going to be easy and tons of people are trying to do it. But if you want it, you fight for it. You have to be detailed oriented and structured in all that you do,” says Sylvia.

Tip #2: Consistency On and Off the Field

“If you’re not consistent athletically your performance is affected, and it’s the same within the ITSM industry. If you want to grow, you have to put customer experience at the forefront to be able to learn and it to apply to the next experience. If you’re not consistent with the quality you’re delivering your customers, your performance is affected. Consistency and quality are key to success,” says Sylvia.

Tip #3: It’s About Culture

“At the end of the day it’s about the culture, and those who come from the bigger IT companies say time and time again that when they come to Cherwell, they can tell the impact from our culture. It’s the same thing with athletics. There are a lot of athletes who have their timing right and experience level already where it needs to be, but there’s always going to be a threat of bigger companies or other athletes who want to push you down. Even if you’re the best athlete in the world, none of it matters if your mindset and heart aren’t in the right place. I apply this thinking to the ITSM world as well,” says Sylvia.

Whether you’re competing for a coveted spot in the Olympics or working to be provide the service management resources you can, one thing’s for sure that the journey to go for the gold is very similar. As for what’s next for Sylvia, you can find her in the middle of training season as she prepares to qualify for the next Olympic games.  

 “As a first year athlete it’s important to mess up as much as possible but not TOO much if possible.  You need to be able to accelerate as quickly as you can. The next Olympics are in 2022 in Beijing, and I’m ready to tackle it head on,” shares Sylvia.

If you are curious about working with Cherwell, visit our careers page. Or, if you’re  looking for other ITSM tips and tricks, head over to our blog page.