Having grown up in Minnesota, Brent was familiar with Room & Board as a respected local company. When he saw a job posting for Systems Engineer supporting desktop technology, he was intrigued and quickly began to surmise that Room & Board would be a very different work environment. "I saw a couple pictures of the Central Campus and it looked so open and spacious. I had worked at companies with nice amenities, but our workspaces were always confined and cut off from each other."
Brent discovered that the work culture mirrored the physical environment when he began his role at Room & Board. "There's a casual atmosphere and a real openness. I can literally look over at my peers and ask them a question. Our space encourages one-on-one communication because it's so much easier to make eye contact and find a space to talk something out." Brent adds, "Everyone says hello here too – it's just the culture. At my former job, if you didn't work directly with someone every day, you didn't know who they were or acknowledge them."
When Brent began working at Room & Board, he was surprised at the amount of freedom he was given to do his role and soon realized that it went hand in hand with a company principle of individual accountability. "In my old job I was used to putting out fires. Here, I was asked 'what do you think you can do to make this better?' There is room for creativity at Room & Board. As long as you do your due diligence and take responsibility, you are encouraged to go for it. Allowing staff members the freedom to think and try things leads to better results overall. We are encouraged to be proactive rather than simply reactive."
Thinking outside the box when it comes to computers is something that Brent has been doing since a very young age. He laughs, "I had my first computer when I was five and I found I needed to do things to make my games work the way I wanted them to." He eventually took a job as a tech paraprofessional with a public school, working his way up to a district level tech servicing more than 10,000 computers. "That's where I became really proficient with SCCM software and also with explaining the technology to people, no matter their level of expertise. All of this helped me with subsequent jobs, including my current one with Room & Board."