Senior Operations Engineer, GSA
Katherine Ju Has a Secret
Katherine Ju knows how to juggle. She cares for her husband and sons, ages 11 and 15. As a senior operations engineer on the GSA Infrastructure Technology Global Operations (GITGO) contract, she supports about one thousand users in ten states. And just as importantly, she’s busy keeping her ‘secret network’ around Atlanta’s GSA building happy.
Katherine has been a GSA contractor since 1995, which must be a record of some sort. She’s been in the same building (although not the same office) most of that time, and has fostered a group of GSA colleagues—her ‘secret network’—throughout the agency that she calls on to be sure her customers get what they need. It’s a challenging job.
“Our customers are demanding in Region 4,” Katherine says. “The stress level at work is high.” That’s why she’s built an informal network of contacts all over GSA that can help meet her customers’ needs. It’s a great back-up when the wheels in the official channels turn too slowly.
“Expectations are high, and customers want things done quickly,” she says. “I try to make them happy.”
Katherine has been on GITGO since the beginning of the contract in 2007. She manages workloads, assigns work to technicians, and tries to keep things running efficiently. Before working for Catapult, Katherine worked at GSA for Computer Data Systems and Lockheed Martin, so the agency is like a second home.
She and her husband Alvin Zhu lived in New York City, and moved to Atlanta in 1994 when Alvin took a job there. Today he’s a database administrator at Georgia Tech. They both decided Atlanta would be a better place to raise a family.
Now that their boys are a little older, they’re not as demanding on Katherine’s time. “They can take care of themselves,” she says.
Which is a good thing, since Katherine doesn’t have much free time to herself anyway.
When she does, it’s clothes shopping, reading, and relaxing by watching her favorite TV shows.
With customers in ten states, more than half of the users are remote, so Katherine is mostly on the phone. The best part of her job, she says, is seeing her customers happy.
And that’s really the point of the ‘secret network.’ As Katherine says, “It’s all about doing a better job.”