Customer Service With a Campus Connection

Tim Vanderpool, Jacob Chinn photo

Dana Menser ’14 graduated from the UA with bachelor’s degrees in studio art and environmental and water resource economics. You might expect to see her dabbing at a paint-dotted canvas or charting the costs of climate change. Instead, she’s a business operations manager and lead recruiter for a technology services company with roots in the UA’s Management Information Systems (MIS) program.

Menser is surrounded by Wildcats at the Tucson office of Mural’s MaaXcloud. A majority of its 60 employees, including Customer Operations VP Paul Soto ’11, are UA students or alumni. 

“We’ve never restricted who can apply based on their major or educational background,” Menser says. “Our training program can get most people up to speed with the technical aspects of the job, so we’re really just looking for people who are interested in technology and capable of learning.”

MaaXcloud, whose executives are based in Portland, provides cloud IT distributors with professional services that make it fast, easy, and economical for a business to move IT to the cloud. The company recruits talent from across the UA campus.  

The training is from the ground up. “Everyone in the company begins at the entry-level position,” she says, “and then we promote from within.” The process gives new hires the skills to assist a variety of clients, including small business owners.

Customer service and technical support are keys to MaaXcloud’s success, and they offer customer service training and certification to their employees.

“We’ll partner with a cloud distributor — a large telecommunications company or a software vendor,” Menser explains. “Then we work with their customers to help integrate these products into their businesses.” 

Here’s where Wildcat undergraduates such as Timmy Miles come in. He’s a senior in computer sciences and an expert in software development. He uses that nuts-and-bolts knowledge to serve MaaXcloud clients. 

“Good customer service was one of those things that a lot of the computer sciences lack,” Miles says. Now he hones his skills by teaching clients how to use software. 

The company’s UA collaboration goes back to 2011, when MaaXcloud acquired Student Experts, a startup comprised of UA Eller College grads. They were providing technical support around Tucson and just what MaaXcloud needed, according to Menser.

MaaXcloud has been recruiting talent at the UA ever since. They participate in employment workshops and other points of contact. They also collaborate with the UA’s School of International Languages, Literatures, and Cultures to identify French-speaking students who can work with partners in Canada. 

“Just about everyone on the senior leadership team is a UA alum,” Menser says. “We prefer to go with UA students or graduates because they’re smart, they want to learn, and they come in ready to work.”  

Wildcats Hiring Wildcats

Do you work at a company with multiple Wildcats on staff? Are you a Wildcat who hires Wildcats? We want to hear from you!

Share your story