Visible Spectrum is a series to spotlight talented and dedicated women employees across the Lab

April 12, 2022

Jennifer (Jenny) Brown is the acting Help Desk Team Lead, which means in addition to responding to day-to-day support tickets, she also manages the help desk staff and outreach programs. She is dedicated to finding efficient and effective ways to solve technical problems to support the Lab’s mission in bringing science solutions to the world.

When she logs off from work, Jenny enjoys playing video games and is learning to play the ukulele.

What inspired you to work at Berkeley Lab?

Initially, I joined Berkeley Lab as a student 11 years ago working with the Workstation Support group, which at the time was referred to as the Mac/PC Support Group and the Help Desk. I worked exclusively with the Help Desk for some time before being hired on as a full-time employee. It’s exciting to work in the IT department and hear about all of the interesting science that I support through my work. Whenever I see a new science breakthrough on our home page, I really enjoy checking if there were any computer issues that I helped the scientists with - and I enjoy telling my friends and family about the experiments that I have supported in my own way.

What have you been most proud of in your work?

The IT department at Berkeley Lab really values community outreach. I am proud to lead many of these programs, including our college intern program - the very one that helped me find my career at Berkeley Lab!

I’m also proud to have started the veteran and SOAR for Youth Intern Programs in our group, to help foster youth and veterans get their foot in the door in an IT career path. I also built regular check-ins into each of our outreach programs, to ensure that each intern is given an experience towards the career path they would like to pursue.

I have also created program manuals for our outreach efforts, purposefully setting them up so they can easily be adopted by other groups if they want to begin or bolster their outreach to the community. These programs include:

And overall, I greatly appreciate getting to do what I love every day and know that my contribution helps the world as a whole by supporting the world-class science that’s done at the Lab.

Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter and/or succeed in your field of work?

I would recommend applying to one of the Lab’s intern programs. We strive to give each person the experience they need to get into the career that they have their sights set on.

How can our community engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?

Having outreach programs to help people get into a field is crucial, it is so hard to get your foot in the door on your first try and having a mentor who can help you figure out exactly what would be your best course of action is invaluable. I would encourage anyone looking to have a more diverse team to invest in these programs, you get out so much more than you put in. I also have to give a shout out here to talent outreach program manager Kelly Johnson, she works really hard to make sure we are engaging all possible channels!