During Women’s History Month, TDS shines the spotlight on its women associates making history by working in the tech field and in jobs traditionally held by men. TDS applauds the impact women are having across all aspects of technology — including our own TDS Field Service Technician Lisa Rivas in St. George, Utah.
When did you start with TDS?
How did your career path lead you to become an FST?
I previously worked in banking and manufacturing sales, so I always had an office job. After I got laid off for the third time, I realized I needed to learn a trade and I knew technology was a field that was not going away. When I saw TDS was hiring a field service technician, I applied and got called in for an interview. Because I had no experience with tools, I was worried I would not be hired. However, during the interview, I focused on my customer services skills, so when the job offer came, I was thrilled.
How did you feel about the job at first?
I was very overwhelmed with the technology, and I was worried it would never make sense. But after a few weeks of job shadowing with another technician, it started to come together for me.
Every single TDS associate was so helpful, and the best part was that everyone wants each other to succeed. That’s hard to find in a job.
What do you like about the job?
I really enjoy the customer interaction, especially when I am in their home fixing or installing internet, TV, or phone service. It is so nice talking to customers and teaching them what I am doing. My goal is to make sure they are comfortable with their new service before I leave. When I announce, ‘OK you have internet now,’ they are so happy. I love that I can help make their day.
What types of reactions do you get from customers when they open their door?
Most people are shocked. They’re like ‘What, you’re a woman and you’re a tech?’ There are always lots of questions about how long I’ve been doing this? Many of the older women tell me they are so proud of me paving the way for others. They’ll say, ‘You’re really breaking ground here. Way to go.’
How did your family react?
At first, they wondered why I was doing it. When I took a pole climbing class in Bend, Oregon, they thought I was so brave. They know I am happy with this job.
What advice would you have for other women who are considering a career in technology?
Just jump in and try. At first, I did not think I was capable. I went from sitting in an office to doing some pretty physical work. You’re doing squats all day and crawling into attics and small spaces in basements, but I was amazed how fast I adjusted. I’m really in good shape now. I have lost 14 pounds and this job is really a good workout.
What have been the four biggest surprises?
1. How much I’ve learned about how internet, TV and phone service works.
2. Learning to drive the truck was very overwhelming at first, but now I feel more comfortable.
3. Dealing with the little critters and spiders you find in the boxes and pedestals.
4. How fast my time with TDS has gone by and how pleased I am to watch it all come together.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I have a five-year-old son and we enjoy being outside. We explore the parks around Southern Utah and he likes to put together Lego sets and paint rocks.