Name: Susan (Sue) Oliver
Military Branch/Rank: U.S. Air Force, CT and OR Air National Guard, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force Reserve (rank at retirement was Major)
Job Title: Senior Consultant
Office Location: Sacramento, CA
Describe your job in 25 words or less: I work in the Health and Human Services Practice, consulting with clients to improve or transform how they serve their customers.
How has your military background helped you excel in your current career? I enlisted in the 1980s in the computer field. This allowed me to experience this industry transformation from big room-sized mainframe computers to what we have today. I was trained using punch-card decks, magnetic tape backups and disc drives that looked like 9-layer cakes. A decade later I was down manholes on base pulling fiber optic cable through conduits on the Portland Air National Guard base. Now we have the cloud. It taught me change is constant, you always have to be forward-thinking while taking the lessons learned from the past. It taught me to think big and small.
What originally attracted you to Gartner? I was a manager at one of the client sites. I was impressed with the team and the delivered strategic plan. At that time I was also in the UC Davis MBA program, so Gartner was a primary focus for me as a post-MBA opportunity.
What is your favorite part about working for Gartner? I love meeting new people. I love working in a team environment. I like solving problems.
What advice do you have for prospective Gartner candidates? Be yourself. At the end of the day you want to be with people with whom you can be yourself.
What are 3 words that best describe Gartner? Committed, quality, relevant.
What advice would you give to recent new hires? Reach out, build a network, read voraciously, be curious, make friends, and ask questions.
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it? What’s Next?
What are 3 words that best describe you? Caring, values-driven, forward-thinking.
What do you enjoy most about the kind of work you do? What’s important to me is working in an area that allows me to serve a purpose. I’m retired military, but service was in my blood before that. Upon retirement I worked for GE Energy, and later, in California in healthcare. I’m currently on a team serving state and local government health and human services. These have all been service roles participating in our country’s defense, infrastructure and health. I have a passion for fighting financial crimes, particularly as they relate to human trafficking. However, it is the service aspect of work that I enjoy most.
Favorite Quote or Personal Mantra: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill