Computer guy catapulted to (On)Stardom
Last year Tim Saveneh (Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems) nabbed a top job as Regional OnStar Systems Operations Manager at General Motors (GM). This means Tim now oversees the overall performance of GM’s OnStar service, from vehicle to back-office infrastructure. Throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and the Middle East.
What’s OnStar? Automatic crash response, 24/7 emergency services, stolen vehicle assistance, vehicle diagnostics, mobile app connectivity, remote unlocking and in-vehicle 4G Wi-Fi hotspots. Cutting-edge components of a ‘connected car’.
If you’d met Tim as a kid, you might have guessed he’d pursue a career in information technology.
'From an early age, I fixed PCs for family and friends. I learned how from first breaking (then fixing) a few of my own!' shares Tim. 'I studied IT at school and helped out the IT staff there. I was always the ‘computer guy’ at my part-time jobs. And I ended up doing large refreshes and upgrades for my high school during holidays'.
While at Monash, Tim joined a CO-OP program at Holden. From there, he was offered a graduate position. One thing just led to another. Whenever possible, he’d jump at the chance to take on additional networks and telecommunications tasks. Or assume the leadership role for a bigger team across a wider region. And then finally the OnStar opportunity presented itself.
What’s Tim’s take on his trajectory? 'You won’t be the CEO in your first week – it might take a few years just to clear a grad program. Be patient and engaged with every level of your journey, and don’t rush any steps to climb upwards. Sometimes you need to go sideways to go up'.
When Tim reflects on what lies ahead, he examines the pros of cons of the Internet of Things (IoT). 'By connecting things, we always have access to them. This makes our lives easier. And allows us to do more. If my home is connected to the internet, I can turn on the air cons, or check security cameras on my mobile. If my car is connected, I can get statistics on usage and important diagnostics'. But he adds this caveat: 'The more devices interconnected via the internet, the greater the risk of security breaches. It’s critical that we carefully consider all components of IoT and not just blindly rush in'.
Tim relishes his good fortune at GM. 'I’m where I want to be. At the forefront of technology and still heavily engaged in telecommunications', he says. 'Leading a team of very talented people and, most importantly, changing lives by providing an amazing vehicle experience through a new level of connectivity'.
Sounds like a stellar career.