July 6, 2021 - Alex joined Datapath in August 2020, project managing our software development with our in-house teams. With a strong track record in project management across various sectors, including the NHS, she tells us how work and home life has been during a pandemic-effected year.
Most businesses can benefit from great project management. What elements of your skillset have you enjoyed implementing here at Datapath?
When most people think of project management, they often think of the process and organisation that comes with it (think project plans and spreadsheets!). And whilst I have enjoyed implementing these more practical elements into the role, I think my people skills and ability to see the bigger picture around projects and how everything fits together has been the most useful and rewarding element for me. It's been a big learning experience and I've gotten to know lots of the team in the process. Project management skills are very transferable between industries, and I've enjoyed the transition into the world of AV.
The past year has brought challenges for everyone, both personally and professionally. How have you remained engaged with your teams and how has the pandemic affected project development, if at all?
When I joined Datapath, most staff were working from home, which meant lots of meetings on Teams, but I was already used to that. For a number of years I've had experience working with international project teams, so we'd always use video chat to meet, and 6 months of socialising via Zoom at the beginning of 2020 certainly helped me feel even more comfortable engaging with teams remotely when I joined. I have noticed a huge increase in screen sharing though, which is great when collaborating. But to re-create face to face meetings when required, I try and keep screen sharing to a minimum.
Also, going through part of the interview process via Zoom was a different experience for me, and accepting a job without having met everyone in real life was unusual. Overall though, the remote working and interviewing practices have benefited most industries, including project work, as it has opened up access to more candidates and has created efficiencies in the process.
What's your proudest professional moment?
I worked on a number of big retail and marketing installations in London during 2019, which were heavily themed. One particular installation was intended as an immersive video and photography experience. Seeing everything come together at the end, with all equipment and retail desks installed, all flooring and walls finished, and all video content playing gave me good job satisfaction. Once it was finished I could stand back and watch all the guest interact with it, which was great. A few of us went out to celebrate that evening, and to wind down from the sheer volume of hours that had been put into it.
Additionally, I'm proud of myself for securing the role here at Datapath during the pandemic. The job market was tough at the time, but my determination kept me going. The people here are so knowledgeable and passionate, the technology is interesting and complex, and so far, it's been one of the best moves I've ever made.
That's wonderful to hear, but enough work talk! Where will you be holidaying this year?
I've actually already holidayed! I got in there quick and went to Scotland at the end of May, touring the North Coast 500 in a campervan (plus Fort William to climb Ben Nevis, the Isle of Skye, Orkney and Loch Ness), so all in all it was probably closer to 1000 miles. I'll probably do a couple of shorter breaks in this country before the end of the year as I want to climb Snowdon and Scafell Pike.
Otherwise, I've been spending my spare time catching up with people I haven't see for a long time, and open-water swimming.
And finally, something that people do not know about you?
I might have given the game away on the last question, but I'm a bit of a wanderer. After finishing university in 2008 I took a year out to go travelling but didn't come back for 2 years and I think I had the bug after that. I enjoy nothing more than having a start point, an end point, some form of transport, and a very loose plan on how to get between the 2 (this is thankfully not how I manage projects!) As a result, I've driven some of the world's best roads, including the Great Ocean Road in Australia, the Garden Route in South Africa and the Applecross Pass to the West Coast of Scotland.