Michelle Londoño, Lead Designer at ProActive Network Consulting, pulls from her experience as a Girl Scout troop leader, a community organizer and as a Public Health Nurse. Experienced in the holistic nursing process, Michelle digs deeper and gets to the root of the client’s needs. She compliments this experience with her certification in Design Thinking. She enjoys growing internal and external relationships, cultivating a positive company culture and stands behind her team. She will continue to guide ProActive’s customer experience and give tech a much-needed personal touch. In her off hours, you’ll find Michelle at University of San Francisco Alumni events, learning the nuances of Tahitian and Contemporary dance, or hiking with her family.
Question #1: How long have you been volunteering for the Job Forum and what do you find most rewarding?
I started during the COVID-19 pandemic when we were all virtual. I met Janet through the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, as we’re both ambassadors. I’ve found my participation as a way to give back to two types of communities:
1. Locally: I’ve been in the area for 30 years and our business has been here for 26 years.
2. Small businesses: Being part of one myself, it can be a struggle to hire and compete with larger businesses. Here we can brainstorm to find a pipeline to grow staff.
Question #2: What are three benefits you see for a prospective Job Forum volunteer?
1. General volunteering is important because people of service do generally look for those opportunities.
2. Experiences here are pretty malleable to a business owner’s schedule. I have a family (3 children) and my participation has been consistent because of the flexibility to balance the things important in my life.
3. Getting to network with other volunteers from small business owners to employees who work for a large corporation.
Question #3: Can you share a meaningful moment from your time as a Job Forum volunteer?
I see lots of positive impact happening each time I engage in this community space. If someone is coming into an event with low spirits because of the volatile job market, I simply start by providing emotional support. Seeing the impact right away by answering certain questions is a reason we all stick around. The hope is that they’ll be able to carry on in their job search.
Question #4: What are some ways you’ve seen volunteers contribute on a week-to-week basis?
I’ve been a part of the small business panel which has given me insight into how we can continue to improve to make it a better entity for participants. Volunteers share the different business models in their sectors which spotlights how a personality might be tied more to one industry or company size over another.
Question #5: What types of industries do you cross paths with at the variety of Job Forum events?
I often collaborate with professionals in financial services and the multitude of variations of technology companies. Recruiters have volunteered as well which is always a huge plus in the Q&A.
Question #6: What’s one thing you didn’t know about The Job Forum prior that you are now grateful for?
Well to be honest, I had never heard of this non-profit organization until linking up with Janet! As it’s a free service, I’m thrilled to regularly refer people to the resources offered. This might include an industry panel talk, resume optimization workshop or 1-1 advising session.
Question #7: What are some qualities Janet Beach’s (Executive Director) displays that impact your devotion to the organization?
She is incredibly engaging, gives so much from her heart and has outstanding energy. It’s so admirable and inspiring how she keeps everything running. Her leadership continues to influence newer candidates in the Bay Area job market.
Question #8: How does your business, Proactive Network Consulting, help its clients?
There are two sides to our business: consulting and general support services. The Consulting part is where we give advice to smaller/newer businesses by way of understanding their needs. It’s very evident in our digital age that we’re powered by the smart phones strapped to our hands. I believe many businesses are struggling because they can’t manage all of the applications, devices and softwares. Through research, we help slim down the list, often acting as their local help desk. Our general support services play a major role for businesses looking to grow + flourish in the Bay Area. Many help desks tend to be international, so we take great pride in being a reliable local resource to our clients.
Question #9: What are some tips you have for job seekers looking to enter the IT space or professionals hoping to transition into the field?
It often seems that people looking to get into technology are heavily sold on the software development side of employment. Understanding who you are and where your personality will prosper is a critical part of deciding which arena of tech you should follow. An IT professional is an engineer (behind a computer) but they will still go out to clients. It’s a hands-on job, interacting with an entire office as well as actively fixing equipment. 50-50 between eng and people skills is a good gauge in the IT world. The educational component has grown more as of late, meaning walking people through the use of different tools and security. These changes are separating the smaller versus larger IT entities. I have around 50 clients and one size definitely doesn’t fit all with tools. Gotta be a fast learner and you wouldn’t be bored!
Question #10: What would you like readers to know about what’s happening in your business today?
We are a family run business and I’d like to point out we have a different dynamic compared to corporate businesses. Listening intently to the people around me became a critical skill in my past line of us work (public health nurse). For my success, it is imperative to be present to the needs of my clients and what they want in the future.
Question #11: What’s been a great win at ProActive Network Consulting in 2023?
This year, we’re beginning to pivot towards our more ideal client. We’re evolving from the traditional financial service companies in San Francisco. I’m very excited that we are serving family businesses that serve in the trade. In other words, they make up the support for our livelihood (construction, electricity, plumbing). It’s time to serve those who are serving us!
“We (IT) are not fixers, we are there on the business journey.”
“Reminder tech is not a solution, it’s how you apply it.”
Written and interviewed by Jason Slamovich