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Meet Our Employees

Monday, August 18, 2014 -- Carly Bursik

Meet Dan Hess! Senior Project Manager located at our Minnesota office.

Tell us about yourself!

I grew up in St. Cloud, MN and attended St. Johns University in Collegeville, MN where I graduated with two bachelor’s degrees, one in Psychology and the other in Management.  After graduation, I took a one year internship in clinical psychology working with mentally ill clients transitioning from in-patient treatment centers to out-patient living environments.  After my internship, I spent 11 years at the Reynolds & Reynolds Company which provides a number of technology solutions into the automotive market.  During this time, I was able to grow professionally through a number of roles including training, business consulting, and project and resource management.  

How did you hear about Edmentum?

I initially heard about Plato Learning from a former coworker after he started with the company in 2008. Although the company and position sounded very intriguing, I wasn’t ready to make a career move at that time. We kept in contact regularly in the following years and when I was finally ready to make a job transition in 2011, Plato was at the top of my list and the timing worked out perfectly.

What is the role of your department? What are your responsibilities?

The Infrastructure Team is responsible for all systems, network, and storage management for our production and corporate systems. As the Senior Project Manager for the Infrastructure Team, I am responsible for the planning and oversight of all Data Center Operations and Information Technology projects. These responsibilities include coordinating with the Richardson, TX and Bloomington, MN infrastructure and IT teams, our stakeholders, and internal customers on a daily basis to successfully initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and closeout our assigned projects. In addition to my work on the Infrastructure Team, I also serve as the Scrum Master for the Business Intelligence Reporting team. The primary aim of the BI Scrum Master role is to guide the BI team, stakeholders and internal customers on how to use Agile/Scrum best practices to accomplish the team’s goals and meet our internal customer’s requests.

What interests you about the field that you are in?

There are a variety of things that interest me about project management, but I would say the most interesting is the constant challenge that it provides. Projects are typically undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives that are often complex and, by their nature, typically new (or at least have new aspects) to our organization. So, there is always something new to figure out with the project teams and when we are able to successfully tackle these challenges it leads to very tangible positive results to the organization. This can be very rewarding for both the value we are able to deliver to the organization and the personal satisfaction of solving some very complex problems.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?

The people that I have the privilege of working with are far and away the most enjoyable aspect of my job. I am constantly amazed at the intelligence, skill, and dedication that my coworkers bring to Edmentum which always pushes me to bring my best effort to everything I do. More importantly, beyond their professional skills, I truly like every one of my teammates and can’t believe how fortunate I am to work with such an entertaining group of characters in a department culture that encourages hard work and fun with equal fervor.

What activities are you interested in outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy golfing with friends and family. I really enjoy the personal challenge of the game, the constant drive for improvement and it’s also a great way to get outside, relax, and get some low impact exercise during the summer months. Most importantly, it’s a fantastic opportunity to socialize with family and friends.

What are your professional goals?

I’ve never been a big fan of the “In 10 years I will be…” types of statements as I’ve found these tend to constrain my outward view of available possibilities. Instead, I am a firm believer in constant improvement and pursuit of formal and informal educational opportunities. By seeking this constant development, I have been able to take advantage of near-term, mid-term, and long-term opportunities as they present themselves. To this end, in the past year I have achieved certifications in CSM and ITIL and am currently preparing for enrollment in an MBA program.