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Katelyn Schiesser talks about her experience as a network engineer at LAIKA Studios

Katelyn Schiesser
Senior Network Engineer

Marilyn conducting an interview.

MARILYN ESCOBAR
JUNIOR RECRUITER

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE AT LAIKA?

My role involves keeping a very integral part of the Technology department running: the network. All of our servers, workstations, wireless devices, and so on connect together using the network. It’s an honor to oversee such an important aspect of the Technology department, and it requires a lot of patience, planning, documentation, and spot-on execution.

WHAT IS IT LIKE WORKING IN THE Technology DEPARTMENT AT LAIKA?

LAIKA’s unique creative challenges require unique solutions, which in turn encourages creativity within the department. The teams I've worked on elsewhere in the past have been conservative and resistant to change. In contrast, our team welcomes new ideas, strategies, and technologies, which makes me feel empowered to make meaningful change.

I feel valued on my team because my voice and my opinions matter. I’m able to offer suggestions without fear of judgement or ridicule, able to speak my mind, and feel like I can make a real difference on the team.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WORKDAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

The day starts with a stand-up meeting where everyone briefly goes over what they will be working on that day. From there, it’s project and ticket work — configuring switches, planning network layouts and upgrades, and implementing new technologies.

What’s your favorite project you’ve been involved in at LAIKA?

I would have to say the new Wi-Fi deployment for the studio. It was done collaboratively; a giant map of the studio was posted in the lunchroom, with pushpins to indicate where Wi-Fi issues were present. After ample feedback was collected, I planned out the new layout of Wi-Fi access points and implemented the plan. It is my favorite project due to the collaboration involved — getting the Art department to help with the map, getting studio feedback, and so forth.

HOW did you get started in your field?

I’ve been a computer nerd since childhood, so I naturally fell into this line of work. I started as a web programmer and eventually got into Network/Systems Engineering, which I realized I’m much more passionate about.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE WORKPLACE CULTURE HERE?

Creative and collaborative. Departments often work together to achieve their goals. Everyone working in the studio has a very creative heart and applies their creativity to their work.

What advice do you have for people trying to launch their careers?

Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” Nobody can know everything, and being able to admit you’re not knowledgeable on a specific topic shows personal insight. Be confident in yourself and your abilities.

WHAT’s something about your work that continues to surprise you?

Technology is ever-evolving and requires one to continue to learn day to day. Technologies that were new and shiny 10 years ago have been replaced or refurbished in ways that must be kept up with.