Sophos Community: Staff Spotlight - Andrew Short

Our staff spotlight is our blog series where we get up-close and personal with our amazing team members at Sophos.

Up next is Andrew Short, Senior Sales Engineer.

Let's Talk Career

1. Can you tell us about your role at Sophos?
I'm a Senior Sales Engineer assigned to the Mid-Market Enterprise customer space in Indiana and Kentucky. I work in the field with prospects to evangelize Sophos and our solutions, answer questions and get them excited about Sophos solutions and securing their enterprises with our services. I also work with existing Sophos customers to ensure their continued satisfaction with Sophos as a solution provider and as a business partner.

2. How did you get to the role you're in now?
I spent 18 years working for various channel partners and I was a new hire to Sophos in March 2017. I knew two people at Sophos who were close to the position, who recommended and requested me. I was hired as a Channel SE. My role and territory have morphed over time, meeting the business needs but always centered on the Indiana market and I am now an MME (Mid-Market Enterprise) SE supporting Indiana and Kentucky customers and prospects.


3. What inspired you to get into IT and security?
It's always been a natural fit for me.  Math and logic skills have always been my forte. I scored a perfect 800 on the GRE Test (a graduate-level entrance exam like the SAT or ACT) math section and a near-perfect 790 in the logic section.

Early on, I traded in my Atari 2600 game system for my first computer, a Timex Sinclair ZX81, on which I learned to program loops!  I didn’t always want to be in IT, I wanted to rule the free world but that didn’t work out.  I fell back on and learned to love, what I’m good at.

In 1996, I was in the U.S. Air Force as an AGE Mechanic (2A651) on a special assignment as the computer support technician in my squadron. I was coming to the end of my enlistment, faced with two very real possibilities: Go to officer school, or get out of the military and go private sector.  The military doesn’t pay I.T. nearly as well as the private sector and officer school was never a guarantee.  The private sector won.

4. What do you enjoy most about your role?
Working with people and using my position and experience to help them in any way possible.

5. What's something you've done during your time in the organization that you're proud of?
There are three things I wanted to share:

  • Single. Day. When I started at Sophos, one of the first videos I saw contained an Account Manager sound bite. She said, “I help make the world a safer place!”  That resonated with me. That day, I made “I help make the world a safer place!” part of my job description.
  • A customer was looking at a monumental labor effort because of a change we made in the product that no one saw coming. In the center of the perfect storm, I presented a plan, that I was to be a part of, to remediate that issue. We didn’t have to go through with it, but it made the customer exceedingly happy that we were ready and willing to do so.
  • A customer had an application that was simply incompatible with Intercept X. I was able to work with the product team to have a fix written into the code and the release of the said version of CIXA is imminent.

6. Describe a typical day in your Sophos life.

  • Sophos solution demonstrations. 
  • Meeting with current and prospective customers.
  • Reading and answering a lot of emails.
  • Training in technology and putting that in my lab when appropriate/possible.

7. What's the best advice you can give to someone who has just started their career?

  • Whether you want to or not, you are always interviewing for your next position. That opportunity will surprise you when it surfaces.
  • You will never have more energy and opportunity than you have today.
  • You will always be who you are right now. Change doesn’t happen next week or next month; it happens today.  If you don’t like that person (you), then change that person, RIGHT NOW.

8. What would you do (for a career) if you weren't doing this?
Sailboat captain or Wilderness charter host.

Role in the Sophos Community 

9. What's a fun fact about you that you could share with the Community?
Like a lot of Sophos peeps, I work out of my home. For me, it started pre-Covid, and it was very convenient to have already had a space setup. I love hacking my space. I recently found a large (96” x 42”) and very neglected dining room table for free on the Facebook Marketplace.  I removed the legs, refinished the tabletop, and cut it down to fit my workspace at 84”x26”.  It has always been a great space to work in, and now it is beautiful too!

10. Have you posted any Recommended Read guides on the Community?
Not yet, but I recommend them to everyone!

Who is Andrew? 

11. What are your hobbies outside of work? 

  • Hiking and walking
  • Smoking choice meats
  • Woodworking – Now that I own a table saw, router, and rotary sander, I see possibilities all around me!
  • Reading – I try to be in one non-fiction and one fiction book all the time.
  • Hacking up my environment, whether it is my workspace, my garage, my car, or my smoker! I love making things just a little better.
  • Formula 1 racing

12. What's something you're planning on doing in the next year that you've never done?
Based on my answer to #14 below, I’ve decided to learn the piano.  We’ll see where I am on my journey in July 2023. 

13. What's one thing you're really good at?
Seeing value in old, decrepit things. Taking something that is old, if it is worth the effort, and making it new, useful, and functional again.

14. If you could learn how to do anything, what would it be?
As the story goes, a virtuoso musician was giving a concert and met with the audience after the performance. One of the audiences said to the musician, “I’d give anything to play like you do!”.  To which the musician replied, “No, you wouldn’t!”

I’d love to learn to play the piano.

15. Tell us about where you live (and your journey getting there - if applicable).
I am from and live in Central Indiana. My house is 6 miles from the house where I grew up and 5 miles from my high school. I spent 4 years in North Dakota for the Air Force and 1 year in Atlanta, GA. Other than those 5 years I’ve always lived here.

16. What's your favorite thing about where you live?
People from Indiana are known as “Hoosiers” (pronounced, roughly, “Hoo-zshers”).  I love that “Hoosier Hospitality” is a real thing.  Look it up!

17. Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I managed to squeeze a 4-year college degree into 6 years of study.  I graduated from (then) Park College of Missouri with 170 credit hours.  Since all my classes were at a remote office on an Air Force base in Grand Forks, ND, I’ve never set foot on the main campus of the school that awarded me my Bachelor of Science degree.  I’m almost like the joke from the movie, Tommy Boy:

“Lots of people go to college for 7 years!”
“Yeah, they’re called DOCTORS”.

Yeah…I’m not a doctor, either, Tommy Boy.

18. Any favorite lines from a movie?
“If we only had a wheelbarrow, that would be something.” 

and

“I’m having a VERY good day!” 

I’ll let you figure out which movies these are from.

19. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Flying like Superman. Such freedom!

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