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Intel Employees: The Evolution of an Intel Admin

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Note from the Blog Manager: Here is another great blog post from an Intel employee from our internal blogging platform, Planet Blue, showing how the role of an Intel Admin has grown and evolved over the years. Liz is an Executive Assistant working with Software and Services Group Leader, Renee James , and shares the transformation she has witnessed and been a part of during her career with Intel. To Liz and all of the other wonderful admins, thank you for all that you do. From helping employees, new and old, navigate Intel to connecting us to the right people to the little things you do to spread cheer around the cubes, you rock! Happy Administrative Professionals’ Day!

If someone had told me 32 years ago when I first showed up at Intel for a job that I would be doing the things I’m doing now and still be an Intel Admin I would have told them fat chance.

Back in the day, Intel administrators were mostly seen and not heard. We were politely stationed behind our typewriters with carbon paper ink on our hands and White-Out in our back pockets. We had pencils behind our ears, rubber bands around our wrists and rulers placed close at hand so we could draw our org charts. Manila folders and green Pendaflex files housed all the paper one could ever want to keep. You would usually find us in the Xerox room for hours on end making copies of books or presentations so we could mail them through interoffice mail to another poor soul who had to do the same thing.

We used to be called “secretaries” and we pretty much did what we were asked to do. Our role was to support anyone in our group that needed help no matter how trivial the task. If we ventured away from that role we were quickly reminded that being a secretary was Job One and “special projects” could only be done if we did our day job first. When computers hit our desks we threw away the typewriters (gladly) and began to process information in an entirely new way. No one taught us either…we taught ourselves. Our survival meant knowing how to use all the tools we could so our offices could be more efficient and we would remain competitive with our fellow admin. Over time our title changed to Administrative Assistant. We liked that because it sounded current and more in touch with what we did for a living.

As the years passed, little did anyone know that something amazing was brewing behind the scenes. This part of the work force started paying attention. Now experts in computer office tools and programs, administrators started taking note of what they were being asked to do and began to do something remarkable. They began to ask why? And what if? Coincidentally, about this same time another miracle unfolded; the Internet. And along with this came the perfect combination; the experts in process management and computer office tools met the most powerful information management tool in history. Using the computer and the Internet gave birth to another phase of admin development; websites.

Intel admins were among the first to actually use the Internet at Intel as a way to manage information for their groups. We quickly taught ourselves HTML and began writing code so we could develop home pages for our departments that would eventually become our library for status reports, presentations and other information we used to run our departments.

Intel Administrators have started other grass roots efforts to pioneer advances in the way we manage, retrieve and more importantly share information. We have matured into a group that specializes in information and program management. We have begun to help ourselves by creating more advanced tools to gain efficiency and improve productivity. With the dawn of social media we quickly grasped the concept and began building our own infrastructure, our own set of tools and avenues we could walk down towards a place of community and development. For example, The Admin Café, launched in 2009 and has quickly become an important staple in the admin community. This forum is used every day throughout the world as a way to ask process questions, share best known methods (BKMs) or gain guidance on a particular cost saving idea.

Today we as Intel Administrators are continually renewing our skill set and advancing towards a direction of our own making. We are using new technologies to improve the way we work and interact on a daily basis. Perhaps the most impressive result is the fact that we are a self taught, self motivated group of individuals who achieve results.

I know we are a curious bunch to most people, but maybe, just maybe, people are beginning to see who we are for the first time.