Tara Coman is a recent addition to Marathon Consulting’s team of IT consultants. As a helpdesk specialist, she is part of the team that resolves tickets from clients as they come in.

How did you find your job at Marathon? I found my job at Marathon through an employment website. I had just received my A+ certification and had been applying to different job postings when I saw the position at Marathon. The description was exactly what I was looking for, so I was incredibly excited when I got my interview with Brian.

Have you always been in the IT industry? No. In fact, I went to college for special education and psychology. Then, in true twenty-something fashion, it was only after I graduated that I realized what I really wanted to work in information technology and started looking for ways to switch fields.

What were you doing before joining Marathon? After graduating from Marist College, I moved to Brooklyn and began working as a nanny for two really wonderful families. I was also a tutor while I was studying for my certification.

How do you answer the “what do you do?” question? Usually, I try to be pretty vague. I’m finding it’s a lot like when you tell someone you’re a nurse and the follow up is usually “…since you’re a nurse and all, would you mind taking a look at this weird thing on my arm?” For example, this past Christmas when I tried to explain my job to my grandmother she asked for our service number so she could call me during work hours to help set up her new iPhone.

Describe your role at Marathon. I get to be a part of the team that is first to respond to most new tickets coming in. It reminds me of an ER triage team. We take in issues, ask about symptoms and use the tools at hand and our knowledge-base to try to diagnose and correct whatever is causing the problem.

What’s your favorite/most unique/interesting past job? When I was in high school, I used to check badges for beach access in New Jersey. It was pretty unique having the beach as an office!

What do you enjoy most about your role at Marathon? I am new to the IT field so I really lucked out with my job at Marathon for many reasons. One of the best things about being hired here has been the exposure to so many different troubleshooting experiences. Because we support so many clients, I get to learn about a multitude of different applications, network setups and hardware that I would never get to learn about if I worked for a single company’s IT department.

What do you think sets Marathon apart? I was and still am so impressed by the atmosphere at Marathon. You can tell very quickly that everyone who works here is fully invested in the success of the company and of our clients. At many larger organizations, it can sometimes feel like the employees have lost connection with ‘why’ they’re doing what they’re doing. At Marathon, we interact with our clients daily, we know their names and they know ours. You feel good about what you’re doing and you can see the clearly see the impact you have. It’s great!

What’s your favorite part about working at Marathon? I’m really enjoying working in a place where every employee is genuinely considered an important part of the company as a whole. Everyone is encouraged to make suggestions and work together as a team, and no one is ever ‘too important’ to take a minute to explain a new concept or answer a question. It’s a really great group of people to work with.

What do you like to do for fun? If you had a four day weekend, what would you do? I love renting a car and going on a mini-adventure in New York; apple picking or skiing have been recent destinations. However, my big sister lives near Washington DC and is recently engaged. I’m Maid of Honor so I’d imagine a lot of my future long weekends will be spent visiting with her to help plan the big day. 🙂

What is your dream vacation spot? I was lucky enough to spend a semester in college living in Italy, and I would love to travel more. Japan would be awesome, although being that it is winter right now in New York City, I would probably be just as happy traveling anywhere with a beach and warm weather.

Which sports team is your favorite? I’ve attended a lot of Rangers games courtesy of my best friend being employed at Madison Square Garden, so that’s the team I probably keep up with most. My dad would be upset if I failed to give the Yankees a small shout out, too!

What did your 3rd grade self want to grow up to be? I definitely wanted to be a veterinarian for most of my childhood. I have always loved animals. I channel that now by volunteering and writing the blog for a local animal rescue agency called Brooklyn Animal Action. (Chetta, the kitty in the photo with Tara, is a “graduate” of BAA.) If you’re in the NYC area and considering adopting a pet, definitely look into this group – it’s 100% foster-based organization and I truly believe the people who run it are angels.

Favorite touristy NYC thing to do or recommend out-of-towners do? I would absolutely recommend anyone new to the city sign up for a food tour. You get to explore and learn about different areas of the city and stop in at local restaurants along the way to sample their menus (sometimes this even includes drinks and desserts). It’s a really fun way to spend a day and you’ll be able to recommend great places to eat to friends and family who might visit in the future.