How many years have you been in tech?
Tell me about your background. What were your early years like?
I was working in customer service for a local lawn and garden consumer products company. Our IT department had brought in new talent and initiated a project to implement a new ERP system. My manager volunteered my services as a Subject Matter Expert in a Business Analyst role. This was not something I was happy about. I moved from Customer Service into IT and worked a horrendous number of hours and learned about all things IT for months on end. This was one of those “trial by fire” situations. I was fortunate to be surrounded by some very talented folks who taught me what I needed to learn on the tech side. (and more than likely, to stop bothering them when I needed assistance) They taught me SQL query basics, business process flow do’s and dont’s, threading and why it mattered, best practices for data management…it was all on the job training. The experience was brutal and I loved every minute of it. I was hooked for life.
How were you exposed to tech?
Hmm, I guess there were a few things that happened early on that may have contributed down the line. My Dad was a management consultant and flew around the country installing computer systems for manufacturing plants. He loved technology and gadgets so there was always something new around the house. “Santa” brought us an Atari 2600 deck for Christmas in maybe 1982 or 1983? Ms. Pac-Man & Pong were both included as games. We had a Commodore 64- I loved the way the keyboard folded-up and locked over the screen like a box! We moved onto an IBM PC Jr He had a “choose your own” adventure game where you had to type in the correct phrase to get to the next step.
What is your current role?
I’m currently a Senior Consultant with Maryville Technologies. It’s a small company so I have chance to wear different hats and spend time in different concentration areas. Being busy and actively engaged allows me to thrive and shine! I am involved with a few client projects and also working with our back-office team to implement new CRM and PSA systems.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Early on in my career I went back to school to get my MBA. I attended classes after work and actually finished the program while working on my first IT project. We worked 7am to 10pm M-F, except they let me skip out to attend my graduate classes on Wednesday nights. That was an incredible stressful year. Completing that project and my MBA courses at the same time was a huge accomplishment for me. Those classes gave me early access to topics that have continued to crop up as my career has progressed.
What are you learning right now?
Right now I am learning how to channel all of my internal IT experience into my new role as a consultant. I spent years as a client working with consultants and now I am on the opposite side of that table. My previous positions as a Business Analyst, BA Manager and Application Development Manager provided me with an in-depth view into the reality that faces our clients on a daily basis. It’s been an exciting transition.
I’m working toward a few Salesforce certifications and just signed up for CodeAcademy.
She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted. Tell us about a time that this applied to you.
“Warned” might be a bit strong in this situation, but the persisting part is definitely true. While working at a previous company, my overall department was going through a transformational change. My particular group had been left out of the transformation. It was deemed as “important” for the product teams, but not so much for our application teams. We wanted the change, we needed the change….so we forged ahead on our own. My immediate team was the first group to adopt the new discipline and it had an immense effect on our productivity and our relationships with the business. Struggling through it on our own had a lasting effect on each of the leaders and team members involved.
What was the last fear that you faced? How did you feel after you conquered it?
Resigning from my previous company to take my current job was a big leap for me. I had a great position at a well-known company, in an area that interested me. Most of my friends considered me insane for making the jump. The first three months or so were pretty nerve-wracking and I constantly questioned my choice. After a few months, I was able to settle in and contribute in a way that benefits both the company and me in a personal sense. This experience has changed me in ways I never anticipated.
What advice do you wish someone had given to you? What advice would you give to others starting out?
Give yourself credit for all that you know and all that you have accomplished. Market yourself rather than your school transcript or your previous title. Your personal background and experiences provide you with a unique viewpoint that can and should be tapped as you move forward onto your next endeavor.
What are your hobbies?
My husband and I spend a great amount of time bicycling on the Katy Trail in the St. Charles/ Defiance/ Augusta area. It’s very relaxing and we have met a ton of great people from all walks of life. We also recently purchased a small travel trailer and will be hooking that up to visit places all of the country on vacation.
What do you like about St. Louis? The midwest? Why do you live here?
I was born and raised in St. Charles County and I am lucky enough to still have plenty of family and friends in the area. Right now I cannot imagine leaving this place.
I love the access to tons of Italian restaurants, Cardinals Baseball, the Katy Trail, The Forest Park Balloon Glow and Race. A never-ending list of food and heritage festivals across this town and throughout the year.
There seems to be so much business growth in the area now and that is very exciting. After years of losing manufacturing facilities, HQs relocating, mergers gobbling up STL properties- things seem to be on an upswing. We can’t wait to see what comes to town next!
Who inspires you?
My niece. She will graduate from college in May. She is so full of life and ready to take on the world. I feel like I have lost that a little bit over the past few years. Life wears on you sometimes right? Her excitement, her energy and career search have reaffirmed my own need to kick some career ass.