Meet Emma. As a Project Manager, Emma wears many hats here at Spiral. Her main role is to oversee the software development used in clinical trials all around the world, but on any given day you can find her jumping from testing to managing sprints, answering support tickets, developing wireframes or liaising with clients on Zoom.
“It is an incredibly agile environment. Whatever comes my way - I jump on it and deal with it”
When Emma left school, she thought a career in tourism would be her calling. She completed her degree but a casual job at a pet store led to seven years as a vet nurse. As an animal lover, it was the space Emma thought she would be in for the rest of her career but she found that some aspects of the job took a huge emotional toll on her.
Deciding it was time to leave this role behind, her career went down a different path as she took the plunge into IT. Having no previous experience she managed to get her foot in the door of a large corporation. Emma found she excelled within this industry - it even took her to Silicon Valley where she and her husband worked within a Kiwi-owned IT company.
Upon her return to New Zealand, Emma took up a senior role at an HR Technology SaaS company. This role lasted for six years until Covid struck, causing her job to be made redundant. Despite this, Emma enjoyed success with several contract roles following her redundancy. When looking for the next step in her career, she came across an advert for a Project Manager at Spiral and couldn't believe what she was reading. The company was doing things she could be passionate about and be rewarded in facilitating.
“I thought, what is the catch? This is too good to be true”
Now living in Tauranga and working remotely for Spiral, Emma wonders why she hadn’t got into this space earlier. She loves the flexibility of working remotely with the support of her colleagues. She compares it to her past experience in open-plan offices where it was easy to get interrupted or feel like she could never fully complete a job to her satisfaction.
“I love working from home. Corporates that are trying to maintain the traditional office environment haven’t given remote working much of a chance to see how well their employees can perform.”
Looking back Emma realises just how valuable her experience has been to get her to where she is today. Two very unlikely industries have collided to provide her with the skill sets that she uses every single day at Spiral. She owes her medical knowledge, understanding of the jargon, and even pronunciation of certain medicines to her vet nurse experience. On the other hand, her years within the IT industry have given her the valuable background to oversee the software development at Spiral.
“My job history has come together and manifested in a role that I never knew was possible.”
When reflecting on the challenges of the role, Emma admits there are stressors involved. The juggling can be difficult at times but that is part and parcel of working in an agile environment and with so many people putting their hands up for trials, she feels the need to help everyone.
The pressure to get it right can be immense. Emma and the team are dealing with sensitive issues every day while liaising with staff in hospitals who are on the frontline of the pandemic. But despite this, she can wake up each day knowing that she is doing something meaningful with Spiral, that her job has a purpose and is making a difference in the current world we’re living in.
“It is easy to get caught up in the emotions of this role but at the same time, it is incredibly rewarding.”
With her one-year anniversary at Spiral just around the corner, Emma feels like she has found herself a role where she can support others to be the best they can be while at the same time, work within a team that ‘keeps it real’ and bands together.
“This really is the dream job. The team spirit and support is amazing- everyone is so genuine and kind - I feel like I've finally found the right role for me and my long term career. I can't imagine doing anything else now.”