On Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Q&As with Caden Kickbush
Caden, tell us about some of your job duties when you started as an intern. What additional responsibilities have you picked up since being offered a full-time position?
I started off as a help desk specialist and took day-to-day phone calls, did the keyfob and badge system, and other basic computing needs. As I progressed and became closer to full time, I then began to get my hands into bigger projects such as new server upgrades, cyber security hygiene, multi-factor authentication, and other projects.
You earned a college degree while working at AHT. What is your degree and what were a few classes that you feel were particularly helpful in your career?
I earned an Information System Management degree and minored in Business at the University of Upper Iowa. I would say the Windows Server and Enterprise Architecture classes have benefited me the most, giving me general terms and better understanding of the systems.
You’ve been conducting some trainings for our employees lately. What are a few of those?
We rolled out Office 365 six months ago and are now beginning to train on the new applications included in this package such as Vizio, Forms, and Planner. I also do monthly Phishing testing and training to keep our employees on their toes.
Cybersecurity is a big topic these days. What are a few tips you’d give our customers to ensure they stay safe?
- Keep all software up-to-date.
- Educate yourselves on basic cyber hygiene.
- Phishing attacks are increasing and never going to stop might as well learn to protect yourself from them.
- If 2 factor authentication is offered on platforms or applications, please use this! (May seem annoying, but can’t save your computer/system.) Many businesses and consumers receive phishing emails where attempts are made to acquire sensitive data through fraudulent solicitation.
What things should people look for to spot a phishing email?
The main thing for spotting phishing emails is slowing down. We are all in a hurry and busy, but that’s the worst thing you can do as one slip-up or email that phished you can get a hacker one step closer to taking everything from you. Besides slowing down, the obvious ones are checking email addresses, hover over links, and worst case scenario give the person who you think sent this message a phone call see if they really sent it.
We hear that you also volunteer as a youth coach. Tell us about that.
I just recently accepted a basketball coaching opportunity at a summer camp in my local town of Reinbeck, IA. I help with a couple different groups, but the main ones are 7th grade girls. I played high school ball and was going to play college ball, but I broke my ankle and decided to retire. I have had a lot of fun coaching. I am totally hooked on seeing progress and my efforts and tips helping them out.
When you’re not working or coaching, how do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I enjoy many hobbies such as boating in Clear Lake, fishing, golfing, and disc golfing. I am always out doing something and not many hours of the day am I inside if I have free time.
You have a big vacation coming up this summer. Where are you going?
I am very excited to finally be done with my 4-year degree and to celebrate me and my girlfriend are going to Okinawa, Japan to visit her sister’s husband who is stationed out there. We are going to explore the tropical island and go to the beaches, snorkeling, tour Naha, and play with the nephews.
What is one thing people may not know about you?
I am horrified of wasps! I was on a mission trip and got attacked by 100 black wasps! Didn’t know I was traumatized from this event until I went to the doctors a year later and got my finger pricked for a blood test. Next thing I know I am in the hospital after fainting from the little needle pricking my finger.
What is one thing people may not know about Advanced Heat Treat Corp.?
Very friendly place! I know everyone and it’s the same the other way around. I find it crazy how even the owner and president can walk around, and they know everyone’s name and the backgrounds of all employees. Very cool to be more than a number!
If someone was considering working at AHT, what would you tell them about the company?
I would tell them they are making a great choice in employment. Everyday I get to work with some amazing people and being able to ask for help and get guidance from people all around you makes the job easy and fun to do. Can’t say I have worked a day here without smiling. It’s the people that make this place so great!
Now, a series of quick random questions:
- First Job: Worked as an installation specialist at Mechdyne in Marshalltown IA
- Favorite Food: Pepperoni PIZZA!
- Least Favorite Food: Avocados
- Favorite Sport: Basketball
- Favorite Team: Vikings (SKOL)
- Pet? I had a blind, deaf, and crippled guinea pig named Boo
- Favorite Movie: Finding Nemo
- If you had a super power, what would it be? Freeze time
- Favorite Vacation or Roadtrip? Florida I love being on the beach
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