Maine DOE team member Michael Mikrut is being highlighted this week as part of the Get to Know the Maine DOE Team Campaign. Learn a little more about Michael in the question and answer below.
What are your roles with DOE?
I serve as one of our Helpdesk Analysts on the Maine DOE Data Team. Our role is working directly with Maine school staff to complete our numerous data collection and reporting requirements to meet state and federal law. Collections run throughout the year so we’re always busy looking ahead to the next collection, whether it’s attendance data, special education, or assessment rosters. A lot of time and effort goes into ensuring the data stored in a local school information system are accurately reported to us at the State. Odds are if you look at any reported student data from a Maine public school, the Helpdesk staff made it happen so there are accurate and complete data sets to see!
What do you like best about your job?
I know it’s a cliché at this point but I mean it: The best part of my job is working with the extraordinary DOE Data Team in my daily work. Everyone I work with are wonderful people that really take pride in their work and want to continue to push for positive change in all that we do. So many organizations fall prey to, “Well that’s the way we’ve always done it, so why change it?” It’s refreshing to work with a Team that challenges that biased thinking regularly.
How or why did you decide on this career?
I came into this role almost 3 years ago now from a private for-profit software company where I did customer service. Private-sector work really was burning me out with their relentless pursuit of the bottom line, so when the opening for a public-sector job appeared that fit my skill set, I jumped on it. I originally lost out on the job offer to another applicant, but as fate would have it they wouldn’t be a good fit so I got a call back. One year later and my position was converted to a W2 position from Contracted, and another 2 years after that I can proudly say our Helpdesk is perhaps the best it’s ever been.
What do you like to do outside of work for fun?
I have a pretty eclectic assortment of hobbies that includes woodworking, playing guitar, kayaking, playing video games, oil painting, hiking, disc golf, and anything I can DIY (like our new house we bought last fall)!