Suzanne Schnaars, senior manager of network engineering for Verizon, joins the podcast to discuss her team's work to integrate new technology into Verizon's network, support recovery efforts and lessen the digital divide.
"Knowing that the work I'm doing is putting the technology and wireless connectivity out to our country to help those kids learn and help those parents who are working remotely to continue to do their jobs and learn – it's just really important for us to continue to push to close that gap," she says.
Schnaars leads a team of project managers tasked with integrating new equipment into Verizon's network, and she explains how scope creep and vendor interoperability are among the challenges her team faces in updating the network.
"We're looking at tool integration and making sure that anything we deploy is secure for our customers and our network as well," says Schnaars. "We also have to make sure all those various boxes out there will play well together. There's a lot of vendors out there that interpret software and standards differently so we have to make sure everyone plays well in the sandbox."
In addition, Schnaars is active in a number of industry organizations that support STEM education including NAF, EngineeringGirl, Nepris and Built By Girls. She shares her efforts to support students interested in an engineering career path, and her professional advice for moving up in technically challenging positions in the telecom industry.
— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading