Andre H.

Client Relationship Manager, Relationship Management — ISC Client Care
Portrait photo of Andre H.

ISC service(s) or programs/projects:  Liaison between ISC and its clients across campus

Length of time in ISC:  Joined ISC in 2012 and Penn in 1996

Previous work experience:  Local Support Provider at Perelman School of Medicine

Tell us about a challenge at Penn that made you proud to be part of ISC.

In Spring 2021 when students first came back to campus, they were attending classes remotely via Penn Zoom. But the campus wireless network was too often experiencing issues that impacted the student experience. A team rapidly formed to identify and troubleshoot what turned out to be a very complex situation, including vendor issues. In this case we had to create interim solutions while working over time with vendors to craft durable, long-term fixes. That took tenacity and continuous work for more than a year. It’s always amazing to me to see everyone drop what they’re doing and step up to do what needs to be done to save the day for our students and community members.

What’s an interesting technical or business problem you’ve faced with ISC?

I was involved in the teams that scoped out how the service desk and relationship management should be organized in ISC. It involved learning the business side of IT and getting up to speed on ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) methodology — and it exposed me to the dynamics of ISC within Penn’s organization. What form should we take for the betterment of our clients, and of ISC? It was a terrific experience. I think the best thing is that I got to work with people across the organization, building relationships, learning who they were and what they cared about. I learned so much from it. And I like building things.

What do you like best about working with clients?

I always say to people that I stay at Penn because it’s never been boring to me. Just when I think I know how everything works, someone will come along and show me something I’ve never seen before. And that’s not even taking into account the technology—just Penn itself. I love talking to our clients and colleagues, whether discussing solutions to a problems or gathering requirements or what have you. Someone is always involved in something that’s new to me. It’s inevitably fascinating.

What lasting effects did the pandemic have on your role and your work?

It’s given me a whole new appreciation for just how important the relationships I have with clients and colleagues are. During a time that was so difficult, conversations with people usually had genuine caring in them. Everyone became a little more authentic. So I realized how lucky I was to work with, and for, and on behalf of so many great people. It also made me appreciate my job and where I work. During a very scary time in history, the one concern I didn’t have was for my professional future. I was fortunate to be able to continue to support a very strong institution. I was thankful then, and I don’t think that thankfulness is ever going away.

What do you appreciate most about the time you spend on campus?

That’s actually the thing that hasn’t changed. Penn is a beautiful campus. What I love most is the ability to step outside and walk, whether to catch up with a colleague or just go for a walk for the sake of walking. You know, take different routes through the wonderful architecture, find a shady spot to just absorb the energy of the students. It’s such a vibrant place, and yet it can be serene and quiet. I like that my job takes me out and about so often.

What are you passionate about in your free time?

I love to cook. That’s number one. I love food and I love cooking. I have a buy local, buy fresh mentality. I spend a lot of time at the farmer’s market. And then I love to play guitar—not for anyone other than my dog and my wife, though. It’s been a self-taught hobby for nearly 30 years. It’s a catharsis for me just to relax and play.

What would you like people at Penn to know about you?

You know, honestly I can’t think of an answer to that because I’ve always been able to come to work every day throughout my career and be myself. So if people have met me, or meet me, then they know me for who I am. That says a lot about Penn.