Think you’ve heard of Aikotek but you can’t quite make the connection? The company’s name was inspired by the prolific “Iko-Iko” song. Aikotek LLC is a software training company that gives off a good vibe whenever its founder, Amelia Michael, walks into a room of unsure computer users or technophobic business leaders.
Ms. Michael is a valued South Jersey client and business friend. She’s also a training professional who transforms confusion into clarity with the soul of a Jedi master…
By All Writes: Why did you decide to start Aikotek? When did you start it?
Amelia Michael: I’ve had the experience of co-owning a business, but have never owned and operated a business completely alone. That challenge was very appealing to me. I also realized that the more my co-owned business grew, the less I was able to focus on my true passion: teaching.
I started Aikotek in 2010 to teach people to use the technology that surrounds them, so they can do what they do a little bit better.
BAW: What services do you offer your potential clients?
AM: I offer customized training services for groups and individuals at any business. The most popular Aikotek service is bundled training for the Microsoft Office suite of programs. I also train people whose companies use WordPerfect and SharePoint. Additionally, I provide technology training for new employees as part of a company’s new hire orientation.
For those senior executives who face the seemingly insurmountable task of catching up computer-wise, I offer confidential one-on-one technology coaching. Aikotek also provides public software and technology training courses.
BAW: Who makes a good client for you?
AM: Professionals upgrading to a new version of Word or WordPerfect, starting a new job that confronts them with unfamiliar technologies, or simply struggling to get their computer to “just do” what they want are all potential Aikotek clients. While a good client understands the importance of educating their staff, a great client isn’t afraid to ask questions and admit they don’t understand something.
BAW: What is your ultimate “happy moment” when working with your clients?
AM: My first happy moment is the “aha!” that occurs when something that confuses a student finally makes sense. My second moment is when I return to a client site and witness someone actually employing something they learned in a previous training session. I’m always thrilled to see someone using software/technology with ease that I know was once a point of frustration.
BAW: If you could relocate your computer software training service to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
AM: Having a 10-year-old son who is settled within his school-and-social world tends to dissuade me from the fantasy of relocating, but… If I could move right now, I’d probably jet over to Israel. My son is learning Hebrew, and I know enough to sound silly. We both have good friends there and could immerse ourselves in a different, yet somewhat already familiar, culture.
Knowing that my mother will probably read this interview, let me just say that I would take her with us! Ask me again in 10 years when answering doesn’t involve my son and my reply will be quite different…
BAW: What is your favorite book to read and why? Please share generously!
AM: I have a difficult time praising a favorite book but can easily tell you my favorite author: Ayn Rand. I read The Fountainhead a few years ago and felt changed by it. This book introduced me to Ayn Rand’s ideal man (in this case, Howard Roark) and celebrates the strength of the individual. Atlas Shrugged was my second Ayn Rand experience. This book features an ideal woman, Dagny Taggart, who is the single strongest female character I’ve ever met…um…read.
The greatest lesson of reading Atlas Shrugged is answering for yourself, “Who is John Galt?” Both of these books had a profound effect on me and impacted my decision to start Aikotek.
In need of targeted software training within southern/central New Jersey or metro Philadelphia (with a thumping Creole/Mardi Gras beat)? If so, Amelia Michael of Aikotek can remove those mental obstacles preventing your computing success. Please reach Amelia by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 856-335-5035.