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Friday April 8th, 2022

From Data Analyst to Technical Project Manager in 3 years

As a recent Biomedical Engineering graduate with a passion for all things Biotech, three and a half years ago I joined B-Secur as a Data Analyst. I helped build our global ECG databases, support algorithm development, and drive the analysis and validation of medical-grade algorithms. You are always advised to have a career development plan, but being a recent university graduate, putting this plan into action and seeing how it may unfold is often easier said than done. Thankfully, the culture and support network at B-Secur helped drive my development and encouraged me to find what I’m good at.

After just over two years as a Data Analyst, and a short project spent acting as the Team Lead whilst my line manager was on maternity leave, I became the Field Application Engineer for the US and EU-based support. This role was vastly different from the Data Analyst position as I was now on the front lines of customer technical support! This introduced a much faster-paced way of working, in order to provide our customers and partners with the best possible support. As a relatively inexperienced engineer, this was a daunting task at times but with support from the industry-leading engineers at B-Secur, you quickly get comfortable. As an FAE and a member of the Product Team, I was then able to dip my toes into the world of project and product management, supporting customer and internal projects, managing stakeholders, and ensuring project deliverables were met. It was this experience and the support and guidance from my line manager, which enabled my next career step to become the Technical Project Manager at B-Secur.

 

Finding my niche
I loved working in the Data team at B-Secur. It was incredibly dynamic and with us being a relatively small-scale, adaptable start-up, there was always something exciting being worked on. I always knew I wanted to progress, but wasn’t entirely sure where! Thankfully, the Data Analyst role interfaced with each technology team and provided invaluable experience and knowledge which was crucial to shaping my career development journey. From this experience, I was able to hone my professional interests and determine my next career move within B-Secur, as I quickly found I thoroughly enjoyed communicating and building interpersonal relationships with different teams. Pairing this with my desire for professional development and challenges, it seemed like the FAE role was a great next step.

Within this role, customer engagement, stakeholder management, and external project management were my main areas of work and development. It was this learning and experience which was crucial for my move to Technical Project Manager. As a very organised person with high attention to detail, I quickly learned I loved the project management aspect of the role, as well as the associated pressures and responsibilities that come with it. B-Secur is a great advocate for personal and professional development and supported me with this career move. Whilst working as an FAE, and having highlighted project management as a particular interest of mine, they enabled my development and encouraged my involvement in various projects and activities which would provide me with the skills and experience to progress into technical project management.

 

Making the move
The motivation behind my role change was one of personal and professional development. I have a keen desire to continuously improve my knowledge and expand my skillset, and with the added responsibility that comes with being the Technical Project Manager, this was an exciting, but logical next career move. My line manager Braj was instrumental in supporting my move and making it happen. Braj has a wealth of experience and was previously doing most of the technical project management himself, so his support and advocacy gave me the confidence needed to make the move.

From my experience leading several customer projects as an FAE, I soon came to realise that organisation and project management were a strong interest of mine. This newly discovered interest of mine enabled Braj to shape my monthly development reviews to align my development KPIs with my skillset (current and required!), ensuring I received the necessary experience to progress into a technical project management role.

 

New beginnings
As I mentioned, this step meant a great deal to me both personally and professionally. Personally, it has enabled me to become a better communicator, develop better relationships across the entire B-Secur team, and provided me with confidence in my own ability. Professionally it has been hugely beneficial as I have gained experience across a multitude of areas, from resource and budget planning to understand technologies and practices across the company I otherwise would not have been exposed to.

In a similar vein, this is also the most exciting part of the role; seeing first-hand the ground-breaking development and technology the team is working at in B-Secur. As a company, we are delving further into the medical space. This naturally brings challenges but supporting the team in their development of potentially life-saving technology is hugely rewarding and something I love being a part of. Moving forward as a Technical Project Manager it is my job to set the team up for success. With our technology becoming more medically focused, there is increasing pressure to ensure our research and development projects are completed to a timeline and a standard expected in a heavily regulated industry. This pressure, knowledge, and experience gained will hopefully provide a launchpad for further career progression down the line.

 

If your goal is to work as a Technical Project Manager in tech, these are my top tips:

  • Be confident in leading without authority – in order for the team to succeed you will need them to buy in, cooperate, and engage.
  • Organisation is the key to success – it will make your life easier and ensure you stay on top of things.
  • There is no such thing as a silly question.
  • Step out of your comfort zone, it’s good to feel uncomfortable!