Profile: Gwen Jefferson
She may not be associated with the hit television show "The Voice," but when Gwen Jefferson answers the MSU telephone support line, her voice immediately is a calming, personable sound to anxious customers through the receiver.
Jefferson is a senior technical support specialist for the university's Information Technology Infrastructure, better known on campus as "Telecomm." Every day, the 15-year employee uses her customer service skills, and her voice, to help with phone issues across campus. While many only know her through her friendly and helpful demeanor on calls, she also is involved in such activities as phone logistics associated with office relocations, ensuring new employees have long distance service, and serving as the "automated attendant" on voice systems in several departments.
"There's a lot more involved with telephone infrastructure than people think. When I answer a call, I have to put myself in the customer's shoes and help them articulate what they need, figure out what should be accomplished, and determine how we can be of service," she said.
Jefferson's ability to provide excellent customer service and develop a professional, welcoming voice came about during a few years spent in the state of New Jersey. She took a job as an assistant head bank teller, where she came into contact with customers eight hours each day.
"I learned to be patient. You do run across individuals who feel their problems are the most important, so I learned that their problems have to be important to me as well," the California native said.
Moving to Louisville, Miss., as a small child, Jefferson attended grade school there and then received a two-year degree from Mary Holmes College. She earned a bachelor's degree from Mississippi State in business information systems and is about to pursue a master's degree in instructional technology.
In her free time, she is an avid reader. She particularly enjoys thrillers or "who done its" such as the "Rules of Prey" series by John Sandford and crime fiction by Iris Johansen. She also enjoys spending time with family in the local area and encouraging her youngest child, Caleb, as he pursues an electrical and computer engineering degree at MSU.
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