Portland, Oregon, United States
I am the Sr. Director of Professional Services for Conversica. We accelerate sales, support marketing, and enable customer success by leveraging our Conversational AI assistants across many industries. Having started my career in software testing in the late 90's, I have held roles from QA engineer and Sofware engineer to management roles leading technical teams. I’ve been with Conversica since October, 2020.
As your PivotPlanet advisor, I will share with you information about what it takes to transition from an engineering role to a management role, including:
• The different types of engineers
• Different styles of management
• How to develop a career path for yourself and for employees
• How to balance the tightrope of corporate politics
• Establishing your brand within the organization
Armed with a bachelor's degree in business administration, my first job was with an IT recruiting company. After about six months on the job, I realized I would much rather work in IT than find candidates to do so. I wanted to be a software engineer!
So I made a job change and worked in quality assurance for a large St. Louis-based company. It wasn’t a dream job, but it was a foot in the door. After about a year I was promoted to software developer and then after a few months on the job, I left to become a freelance developer.
For the next five years, even though I found clients and worked on projects, I was surviving, but not thriving. I didn’t feel I was making enough progress in my career. I was too busy and didn’t have a life outside of work.
There were times when I worked 70-80 hours a week, sometimes 7-days a week and I felt like I was only treading water. It’s important to find a work/life balance and to pursue other interests outside of work.
So, I moved to Portland, Oregon for the beauty of the area and the lifestyle it promised, but again found myself mostly working alone. I accepted a three-month contract at Intel that gave me great experience and opened many doors. With such a recognizable name on my resume, I found a few great jobs working for agencies and my career really progressed. Since then, I find that I am much happier working for a company than when I was a freelancer. Being part of a team feeds my soul and I enjoy managing and mentoring other employees.