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In 2007, Arthur Shih was ready to graduate and consider his options. With a new degree in computer systems engineering under his belt, Arthur was ready to take on the world but not entirely sure what to do first. A chance encounter with the future Datacom Group chief executive officer, Greg Davidson, set him on his course.
“Datacom didn’t really have a graduate programme back then, but I distinctly remember Greg speaking at an event where a cheeky student asked what he thought of the new Microsoft .Net Framework 3.0. Greg gave a hugely detailed deep dive that shut the student up," Arthur says, smiling.
Arthur knew he wanted to work for a company that encouraged technical people to take up leadership roles — something he himself was to do several times over the next 14 years.
“For the first two or three years, I worked in network engineering. It was a really techy role but, because I put my hand up for anything and everything, I got to join the formation of Datacom Cloud as an operations manager. I spent three years there before being poached by the sales team where I learnt to work with potential customers, something that's stayed with me ever since.”
After six more years with Datacom, it looked like Arthur may need to resign. His wife, Aradhna, had secured her dream job in New York City. But, rather than accepting his resignation, Datacom asked him to set up shop for the company in the United States.
“Here was the chance to learn how to run a business from end-to-end. It was daunting, but I said yes, went to New York City, and started knocking on doors.
“I realised that when it came to capability, Datacom was up there with the best in the world. But, we weren’t great at selling ourselves."
While in the USA, another door opened when Arthur was awarded a Prime Minister’s Scholarship. It allowed him to complete the Program for Leadership Development — a fast-track alternative to the executive MBA (Master of Business Administration) at the prestigious Harvard Business School.
“That was a life-changing experience. More than anything, I learnt to be true to myself. We spent a lot of time focusing on authenticity and trying to be the leader you are rather than the leader you think you need to be."
Today, Arthur is back in New Zealand and says he has the coolest job in cloud computing in the land.
“It’s about transferring the customer’s data onto the right cloud platform for them. It’s about empowering any staff member to work on any device, connected to any service, accessing any data they need from anywhere in the world.”
Now with two young children, Arthur is relishing the challenges ahead and enjoying the Datacom culture that has grown from strength to strength in his 14 years here.
“That’s the great thing about Datacom. The opportunities are there. All the big moments in my Datacom career have come about because people trusted me, all the way back to when I first started at Datacom while still studying at university.”
Datacom is hiring for a range of roles. To find out how you can make the most of a career in technology with Datacom, see our latest roles.