My career so far has been primarily in product management for tech startups. I moved into the role ‘by accident’ – as is the case for many PMs – at Quill Content, where we produced editorial content at scale for clients in retail and travel. I moved to SuperCarers, where we connected self-employed carers and people seeking care, and then had a brief stint at TalentPool, before joining Notbinary as a delivery manager. Having worked in the startup world, I’m comfortable wearing many hats, and love roles that enable me to bring my skills as a generalist to the table, rather than requiring me to specialise.
Before work, I studied French & Russian and spent my year abroad shivering in Siberia and pastrying in Paris. I maintain that coxing at uni was the best preparation for product management – providing direction and motivation to enable a team of skilled individuals to align themselves towards a goal. Outside work, I do calligraphy for weddings and gifts, and will be running a lot in September having signed up for Miles for Refugees.
What’s something you’re really into right now?
I live next to the canal in Islington and I’m super interested in the traditional painting on the boats (please let me know if you know the proper word for this). I have a more general interest in sign painting and am starting to practise my own after lurking as an Instagram follower to some of the pros.
What book/podcast would you recommend?
I’m currently listening to Sara Pascoe’s book Sex Power Money. She artfully dissects the constructs surrounding these concepts, tying in evolutionary theories as well as historical narratives, and all with her comedic style of silly metaphors and imagined conversations thrown in. I loved her first book, Animal, for the same reasons, and would highly recommend both.
Podcast-wise, my current favourite is Ear Hustle. The series is recorded in San Quentin State Prison and picks up on the oddities of incarcerated life as well as a little of the near-impossibility of a ‘normal’ existence upon release. It’s hosted by an inmate and soundtracked by his peers with some serious musical talent (including a well-known Swedish DJ now housed there).
What’s the last picture you took on your phone?
Embarrassingly, a sweaty selfie. My siblings and I have renamed our WhatsApp group to S3 (Sibs Sweaty Selfies) after the increase of relevant content. My sister is doing the couch to 5k, while I’m preparing for 108 miles over September. I’m considering purchasing some novelty caps to add some entertainment value to the photo series.
What’s your favourite word?
Apparently I used to purposefully choose an option I didn’t want, just so that I could say “actually” when changing my mind, and that word remains one of my favourites. I also used to respond “smoked salmon, please” when asked what I’d like in a sandwich at my friends’ houses. Together, that tells you a lot of what you need to know about me as a child.
What cheers you up?
Chats with my youngest nephew. He’s just hit one and is the ideal conversation partner – he lets me waffle on uninterrupted for minutes and all he wants in return is a cupboard full of tupperware, some jangly keys and an iPhone 7. I’m an auntie to nine so far and they all bring a little more joy into my life.
Is there carbon in your cloud?
With all the government clients I have worked with ‘cloud first’ is always followed (or at least aspired to) and frequently talked about. Guidance on how to create and implement a cloud hosting strategy refers to capability, cost and data storage requirements of your organisation's unique set of needs, but not the needs of the planet.
Avoid learning too many lessons from these ‘unprecedented times’
The big thing I keep reminding people is while there will be lessons to learn from all this we need to take them with a grain of salt. These are not normal times and the change in attitudes is probably a lot more fragile than some people think.
Impact beyond Alpha
4-8 weeks of a Discovery or Alpha project is a fleeting time for us to accomplish our mission: to help institutions embrace the opportunities of the internet era. What can we try to extend our impact beyond the confines of the project.