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As a kid, Mark Hile was fascinated by how computers worked. He’d take them apart, tinker with them, and then try to put them back together. There was never any doubt in his mind about his future.
“I never considered anything other than an IT career,” Mark says.
Not everyone supported his single-minded ambition. His school guidance counsellor looked at his marks and told him they weren’t good enough for an IT career. He couldn’t have been more wrong. Mark is now Datacom’s Director of Technical Services, with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and wide-ranging industry knowledge, from technical to financial to marketing.
After he finished school, he took a private college course that combined hardware, software, and electronics training. Once he had industry certification, Mark and his brother started their own business in IT consulting, which they successfully grew over seven years.
“It was like a very small Datacom,” he says. “But I had a young family and we reached a critical point where we needed to reinvest for growth or plan and exit strategy. We decided to exit the business. We wanted a buyer that aligned with our values so we sold to Datacom.”
After selling his business, Mark spent five and a half years running the IT department for a large construction company, then in 2013 moved into his first role at Datacom as the business manager of the Queensland professional services team.
Over the next few years, he was associate director of national systems, then associate director of transformation and enablement.
"My wife still laughs at that title,” he says.
He then went on to become head of technology operations. Since mid-2020, Mark has been director of technical services, managing “a pretty exciting journey” through a period of massive change.
After travelling at least every other week for many years, the changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic have seen Mark spend more time at home in the past two years than he had in the previous eight. Like many others around the world, Mark has needed to change his approach.
“I’ve consciously changed the way I work. I’m now more focused and productive, so I can have more of a balance between life and work. Now I can spend my Saturday on dirt bikes with the kids instead of working.”
Mark believes working at Datacom is a great fit and has given him opportunities to excel and achieve real impact for customers. This has been especially evident over the last two years where Datacom has been instrumental in supporting Australia’s Covid-19 response across its government, enterprise and mid-market customers.
"When I finish one job, there’s always another one waiting. Datacom has supported me extremely well while I’ve worked incredibly hard — we’ve kicked some fantastic goals together.”
It also helps that he loves working with the team.
“We spend so much time at work it has to be fun. Maybe not every day, but overall it has to be enjoyable. I’m incredibly lucky that I get to work with so many good people, without a doubt some of the best in the industry.”
Seeing people progress through the ranks is also enormously satisfying, and Mark’s own background means he’s open-minded when recruiting. He isn’t hung up on formal qualifications; instead, he looks for problem-solving ability and aims to unlock young people’s natural skills.
“Datacom makes a huge investment in upskilling people, so if you’re motivated and prepared to learn then the company will back you 110% to take on new roles and build your career.”
“We’re trying to give people an environment where they can excel. There’s nothing better than seeing people succeed. Most of the time they stay, sometimes they get poached, but either way, we’re lifting the standard in our industry, so that’s positive.”
Mark is looking forward to the new challenge and says it is one more piece of evidence that working in IT is a fantastic prospect for anyone seeking an interesting and varied career.