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John Hughes: un 'bon gars' in any language


John Hughes is indeed a good guy. He’s a member of the Special Services team led by Bill Pinard, within the Client Services Division of ACS. Other CSD teams specialize in implementations or upgrades or support, but this group steps in wherever they are needed. They provide resources to other teams and tackle one-of-a-kind projects that don’t fit neatly into an existing category.  

John’s job definitely qualifies as one of a kind. When he joined AdvantageCS almost five years ago, his French speaking ability was a huge plus, and he has put it to use more and more each year since then. Today, he is the “go-to” guy for support and anything else required by Advantage’s French clients. This may involve technical support issues, training, or helping with software upgrades and other client projects.

John Hughes

As an analyst, John is the liaison between clients and engineers.  In his case, he says with a smile, this means that he is actually dealing with three layers of translation—from French to English to “engineer-speak” and back again.  

John never knows what will greet him when he sits down at his desk in the morning. Some days are frenetically busy and he will be juggling half a dozen or more issues at once. Usually, things calm down a bit in the afternoon and he can work without being interrupted as often by phone calls.

He enjoys the variety, especially the fact that along with the business and technical aspects of his job, he has the chance to build relationships with people at client companies. He likes the mix of working with software/hardware and working with people. In addition to clients, he interacts with many different people at ACS—engineers, support analysts, and others from CSD.  

His supervisor, Bill Pinard, is glad to have John on his team.  “John exemplifies the best in an ACS business analyst,” says Bill.  “He is dedicated to the clients whom he works with on a daily basis, bringing a high degree of organization, product knowledge, hard work and competence to his role. He is an outstanding asset to the Special Services team, and I look forward to working with John in the years ahead.”

John feels his job is rewarding because he knows he is filling a real need. Sometimes though, he laughs, that is both a blessing and a curse, because it means there are very few other people who can do what he does.  However, he works closely with Philippe van Mastrigt and Virginie Motte, ACS’ employees based in France, and can also call upon the other French-speaking people in CSD when the need arises.

John learned French by necessity at an early age. His father—an auto executive—was transferred to France when John was 8, and he and three of his four siblings attended French schools for the two and a half years the family lived there. John was at the perfect age to easily absorb another language and was able to retain his fluency when he returned to the US.

Learning other languages has always been something John enjoys. He studied German in high school and college and spent six months in Austria in an exchange program. That, and a mission trip to Munich after college, really helped improve his German. He also understands Spanish quite well.

But it was French that played a part in John meeting his wife, Amy. While in college at the University of Michigan—where he studied economics and German—John and his sister decided to throw a party for anyone who could speak French. One of the attendees was Amy, and they began dating a while later and were married in 2010. That was a big year for John, as he started a new job, got married and bought a house—all within three months.

John and Amy live in a suburb of Ann Arbor with their 2 children—Jacob, 2 ½ and Lena, 2 months. When he isn’t working, or with his family, John enjoys music, and playing the guitar and piano with friends. He also plays soccer and maintains a vegetable garden. However, his current after-hours project is finishing the basement of his house, during which he has learned how to do electrical work, and install insulation and drywall.

John is not only multi-lingual, but multi-talented as well, and we couldn’t be happier that he is part of our Advantage family.

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