December 12, 2017 • Smart Resources
Getting Smarter with Mike Gigante
At Smart Resources, we aren’t just a big group of IT consultants or tech minds. We’re a family. Our team is not only one of the most skilled in the country, but also one of the most interesting. Each month, we feature a conversation with one of our great consultants so that you can get to know us better. This month, say hello to Senior Consultant Mike Gigante!
Name: Mike Gigante
Position: Senior Consultant
Years with Smart Resources: 2
Professional Background in one sentence:
13+ years in Project Management and Business Analysis working domestic and international projects for a wide variety of clients in the Financial, Retail, Education and Logistics fields.
Describe your typical day.
I like to arrive early enough to turn the lights on. I spend the early quiet part of the morning replying to e-mails and prepping for the meetings and tasks I have scheduled for the day. I follow that up with a “walkaround” to do face-to-face touch bases with project team members and stakeholders. The rest of my day usually consists of more formal meetings with my teams, clients and vendors.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
The best part of my job is when I see that the end results of my project help people realize a time or cost savings. A recent application development project I completed has allowed the customer to automate a series of tasks and reports that took 40 hours per month for and individual to complete. This person now has an entire work week back and has been able to dedicate more time to other tasks that have been on her back burner for quite some time.
Tell us about the most memorable moment of your career.
I was managing a project where we upgraded routers and switches in banking centers all across the country. All of this work was required to be performed after hours, usually starting about 11 pm. I was on-site in one of the locations in St. Petersburg, FL and around 2 am, one of the technicians leaned against a door and tripped a silent alarm (which was supposed to have been turned off by the bank’s command center, but wasn’t). We soon found ourselves face down on the floor of the bank, surrounded by about a dozen of St. Petersburg’s Finest, guns drawn… Luckily, the bank’s command center was on a bridge line with us at the time, heard the whole thing and were able to notify the police department that we were there at their request.
What career advice do you have for someone just starting out in IT?
Don’t be afraid to go down the various paths that IT work takes you. Technology is constantly changing, so take every opportunity to learn something new and the next big thing. It will only make you more valuable.
What will be the biggest tech trend of the next 5 years?
Voice control and integration with cloud based services.
Do you have a favorite software program?
As a Project Manager, I love working with Smartsheet, a cloud-based tool which can take the place of Microsoft Project. It has all of Project’s planning and charting features, but allows full access and collaboration with your project team, without having to worry about who has a copy of Project, or exporting to PDF or Excel. The project plan is secure, but live and accessible to all of the team members who have been granted access. You can request updates on task completions and team members can update their tasks themselves. Best of all, with it being cloud based, it is device independent, so the plan is available to you on computer, tablet, or smartphone.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Richmond area?
I have only been in the area for about 5 years, but I love discovering new restaurants and clubs. Also, Richmond is ideally centrally located so that so many interesting places are day trips or short drives.
Describe your favorite meal.
My family is Italian and I love to cook. I’m always happy with a good comfort meal, nothing too fancy. Give me some pasta, beef stew, chicken and dumplings and I’m good. But also, if you ask me if I want to go to Proper Pie, I will always say yes.
What’s your favorite song?
Barry Manilow’s Copacabana. (not really, but I love that everyone who reads this will now have that song stuck in their heads the rest of the day!)
Do you have a hidden talent?
I play ukulele and was a stand-up comedian back in the 80’s and 90’s and also worked as a writer for Carrot Top and Jay Leno.
What’s your favorite thing to drink in the morning?
I never developed the coffee habit, so I’m the nut-job you always see drinking a Coke Zero in the morning.
The best movie you’ve ever seen is:
The Godfather and The Godfather II. And honestly, I’m not as offended by The Godfather III as everyone else is. And I will never pass up an opportunity to see The Pope of Greenwich Village again.
What’s your most prized possession?
Being a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, I would have to say that my most prized possession is my photo with E-Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons. A few moments after the photo was taken, Bruce himself showed up to congratulate him (didn’t get in that picture). It would end up being the very last time he and Bruce appeared together in public before Clarence passed away. R.I.P. Big Man!
To learn how you can join the Smart Resources team of consultants, view our jobs here.