Learn on Demand Systems is pleased to announce that James Burnham has been named 2019 Employee of the Year. The award is presented each year to a team member who best embodies the company’s core purpose and values. James joined Learn on Demand Systems in July of 2016 as a Help Desk Administrator. He has since worked a variety of roles in the company including, Content Administrator, Content Team Manager, Lab on Demand Operations Manager and Lab on Demand Product Manager
“James embodies what we look for in employees,” said Corey Hynes, CEO at Learn on Demand Systems. “He is willing to own everything and willing to do anything. He is the first one to learn new things and the first one to share that knowledge. He is not afraid to question why and if the answer is unknown, find an answer. He has a relentless drive and energy that raises the caliber of those around him.”
As a way to spotlight James, we asked him a series of questions:
1. What was your initial reaction when you heard you won Employee of the Year?
I didn’t really know what to think. I was incredibly honored as every single employee at Learn on Demand Systems works incredibly hard and is extremely talented. I couldn’t imagine being on the decision committee who has to select an individual out of our wealth of amazing employees.
2. What’s your favorite thing about working at Learn on Demand Systems?
My favorite thing is definitely the freedom and “life-work” balance available. Whether it’s running to a mid-day dentist appointment or working at a completely remote location such as out of state or country, Learn on Demand Systems wants you to work to live, not live to work.
3. What does being remote allow you to do that you wouldn’t be able to if not?
I like being able to visit family for extended periods. This is by far the best thing about working remotely. For the past few years I have spent the entire month of December home with my family and have done so while utilizing minimal time off.
4. How do you balance your career and family?
This was really hard for me at first. I tended to start work early in the morning and end work late in the evening. When your office is in your home, and it’s a global company there are constantly things going on and staff working. This can result in sinking into an “always working” model. More recently, I actively try to “shut off” work by the early evening which helps maintain a more traditional working hours and provide a better balance.
5. How has Learn on Demand Systems helped you in your career development?
Learn on Demand Systems has been extremely instrumental in my career development. They have previously and continue to aid in my obtainment of technical certifications, have pushed me to become a trainer within our company which makes you validate your own knowledge as well as develop presentation/teaching skills, and the biggest benefit they have provided is through working with clients – having interaction with a massive variety of technologies that working for any other organization would be hard-pressed to provide exposure to.
6. What’s your favorite part of your job?
There are so many things I like about my job, if I had to surmise it in one word it would be: variety. I am able to interact with everyone from our entry-level help desk, to clients, to our executive staff. This helps with truly understanding all the different components of our organization and how they interact as well as why they work that way. Beyond just interactions, Learn on Demand is changing and growing at an immense pace and this leads to variety in what’s being done on a day to day basis, no day is ever the same.
7. Before working at Learn on Demand Systems what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Well, these are kind of two different questions, so I’m going to answer them both. My most unusual job was probably doing sales for a credit card processing company. These are the companies that every business needs to have in the middle when they swipe a credit card. It was a business-to-business sales position in a door-to-door fashion, but I learned a lot about how credit card processing works!
My most interesting job was actually two different jobs that I held simultaneously for the same owner. The person owned two night clubs and I went from being the bar manager of one until they closed at 2AM to being a bouncer at the other one until 5AM.
8. Any outlandish hobbies? Or something that might surprise us about you?
Well I most recently picked up Scuba Diving and I am absolutely loving it. I can’t wait to get more dives in next year!
A longer running hobby I have is board games. I am a big fan of the social aspect you get from them which you lose in things like video games. A few friends and I actually made our own party game that supports up to 20 players this year, it’s called the “Florida Man Game”. If you’re familiar at all with “Florida Man” headlines then you can just imagine what kind of craziness is involved in it. We took a lot of feedback from our play testers and are actually working on a “version 2” for this year.
9. Favorite animated character?
Scooby-Doo, easy. Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved Scooby-Doo, I’m not familiar with any of the new versions – but I could watch some classic Scooby-Doo anytime.
10. Favorite line from a movie?
Oh man, I don’t even know if I can answer this one. I am a huge movie buff, I don’t really have a “go-to” movie line, but I could probably manage to hold a conversation in movie quotes if necessary. If I have to pick a favorite, it’s probably just because it’s really fun to say. That would be from Super Troopers: “License and Registration Meow?”
11. Favorite soup?
Lobster Bisque or French Onion. Depends on my mood and what’s available, but those are definitely my favorites.
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