An OARnet business relationship manager is a jack-of-all-trades. Just ask one of the newest members of that team, Andrea Carrier.
In our newest “Meet the Staff” post, Carrier talks about what brought her to OARnet, what her job entails, and what skills make for a good business relationship manager. We also find out about the sport she excelled in growing up, and how she balances mom life with a full-time job.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in Maumee, Ohio. I moved to Columbus in 1992 to attend The Ohio State University and got a degree in recreation education.
Were you involved in any sports or clubs growing up?
Gymnastics. I was a gymnast from the time I was 4 years old until 18. Growing up, I did gymnastics at the YMCA, then at Maumee High School we had a team and went to state and nationals. I competed all over the country. It was a really good environment and I’m still friends with a lot of the women I was on the team with. We have a little reunion every year; it was a big part of my life.
Did you stay involved in gymnastics after competing?
My daughter does it now and my friends’ daughters are involved in it; we travel around as gymnastics moms. I used to coach lessons and I worked for Ohio State in school, running their faculty rec program. I’m glad my daughter is doing it. It’s a great environment to grow up in because of the relationships you form. That’s what I loved about it.
Interesting that you mention relationships considering that is at the heart of what you do as an OARnet client representative. What qualities does it take to succeed in this role and what do you like most about your job?
I enjoy being able to interact with a wide variety of people, as well as helping to play a part in providing the cities and counties in Ohio with affordable options for networking and connectivity.
It’s a role where you are tying a whole project together. You have to know about each part of it to keep all the tasks aligned so you can complete the project. Whether I’m following up with a client or engineering or whomever, it’s about making it all work so a client can get what they need when they need it, whenever their timeline. It’s about making it as smooth as possible, trying to control all the factors from end to end.
Is it a difficult role?
It’s very rewarding. The projects are more involved, but you have a good handle on it and you know every step of the process. From the call you get from a client to the completed project, whether it’s a month or a year, it’s very fulfilling. It’s a lot of follow up and care and doing the things you say you’re going to do. Clients want responses, they want them quickly, and whether you can do it or not, they want to make sure someone is caring for their situation.
So, when you’re not project managing for OARnet clients, what do you do in your free time?
Well, I’m a working mom so I don’t have free time, haha. But I enjoy spending time with my family. I have a 12-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. They’re into a lot, especially sports, Girl Scouts, basketball, baseball, softball, track, gymnastics. We spend time hiking, biking, and boating in the summer at Lake Cumberland. I also enjoy running and yoga.