Our Employee Spotlight series highlights #LifeAtPega for team members around the globe. Meet Renée, a Sr. User Experience Architect. A naturally creative person, Renée, shares her thoughts on design, advancing one’s career, and why she loves to people watch.
Where did your passion for technology come from?
It’s not so much a passion for technology with me, it’s a passion for creativity and innovation. Initially, I went to art school and got a degree in jewelry and glass. After graduation I wanted to obtain more practical skills, so I went back to school for graphic design. Technology then became a part of that.
Describe your career journey. What led you to Pega?
I have an eclectic background of skills that I utilize together for a particular role. Most people will have one career path – teacher, doctor, etc., but for me I’ve had various roles all around creativity and innovation. This has helped me to progress to where I’m at now. My first job post-graduation was doing flash animation for fashion week in Australia. I was then a graphic designer for a period of time, worked facilitating strategic activities for an organization, I taught graphic design classes at night, and then I became a solutions consultant (SC) and creative evangelist at Adobe. I was the first female pre-sales/SC in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) for Adobe – which was kind of cool.
What’s your favorite Pega memory thus far?
When Mike Clark, the North American UX consulting manager, came to Australia. We were on a customer site working as a group to design a government application. What was memorable about the project was that our team became a mini family while we were working together for three weeks.
What advice do you have for people who want to expand their career?
I’ve done so many different things. Essentially, I would say don’t be afraid to throw your hat in the ring. Just because you haven’t done something before or someone says you can’t do it, doesn’t mean that you won’t succeed. Never be afraid to put your hand up and take something on. Also, don’t think that you have to do it on your own. Ask for help. There’s always someone else to help you with what you need.
What do you enjoy about Pega’s culture?
At Pega, the difference for me is that my contribution is respected. I’m respected. That’s the key thing. Everyone respects each other here. That’s been my experience. Even if you disagree, or have a different view or different approach, you’re not penalized for that. I find that there’s more authenticity here than at other organizations.
A strong work-life balance is important. What do you like to do outside of the office? Why do you enjoy it?
I love people watching and observing them to find inspiration. I find I get my inspiration from the people I talk to – about who they are and their personal stories. I’m always fascinated by what motivates and drives people, so I often find myself on the peripheral observing. This is what gives me the lightbulb moments. Small little pieces from the multiple conversations I’ll have with people over a period of time will synthesize together to give me ideas. It’s when all those little pieces start to make connections in my brain that I get new concepts for projects. I’m always being creative. I literally never stop. Also, I’m currently working on an app focused on mediation and mindfulness. This is very fun for me.
In your lifetime, what do you think has been the most impactful piece of technology? Why?
This would have to be touchscreen devices. They’ve changed the way we actually socialize, communicate, and interact. And also the internet because it’s exposed people to a broader community. Both of these have changed our culture – they’ve also changed the way we see ourselves and how we fit into society.
Since we’re into software, we have to ask – what’s your favorite smartphone app and why?
My favorite is an app called Converter. I actually helped design the brand for it. It’s kind of like a digital Swiss army knife. You can easily convert weights, mass, height, temperature, currency and other calculations. My other is just the Stock app. I’m not a big trader, but I love monitoring the numbers and keeping track of how I am doing. I also enjoy reading the comments section and what the analysts and forecasters are predicting.
Want to work with Renée? We’re on a mission to connect, engage, and empower people. Visit Careers at Pega for a full listing of available opportunities around the globe, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor.
DISCOVER ENGINEERING: In honor of National Engineers Week (Feb 18-24), Pega celebrates workforce diversity in engineering and technology careers. Read how Pega is teaming with other technology leaders to close the global skills gap, and check out five free courses that could change your career.