Jun
20
2006

From chemist to software business manager

IT and software development are usually considered to be the province of the male of the species. Certainly when 30 year old Emma Thomson moved to Aberdeen five years ago little did she think that she would find herself working for a software solutions company as a Business Manager.

Emma comments, "I have a BSC in Medicinal Chemistry but when I was studying for my degree I realised that I did not want to spend my life in a lab carrying out research - I enjoy interaction with other people too much for that. When I left university I did what many students do and started temping, working in a call centre. This proved to be very valuable experience and taught me a lot about dealing with other people and the value of customer service."

"Although people are sometimes taken aback when I mention that I work for a software development company I don't view myself as being unusual because I'm female and work in the software industry. Stereotypes do still abound and there is a commonly held view that anyone working in software or IT is a 'geek' but this isn't necessarily the case."

Emma's relationship with Codify began when she was the Assistant Manager for a serviced office provider in Aberdeen. Codify rented office space and Emma got to know the people behind the business. Two years later, Codify was growing and needed to employ a Business Manager.

"I was approached by Codify at a time when their business was growing and they needed to employ someone to implement structure and policies across the business in order to sustain and manage the growth. The role appealed to me as it also offered the opportunity to learn new skills as well as having a varied remit," says Emma.

Emma's day to day role is varied and includes accountancy, business development and the day to day running of the business. Emma adds, "Interpersonal and multi tasking skills are vital when working in such a fast paced environment. Something else that I add to the mix is a non technical viewpoint; for example this means that I can ensure that marketing and sales information does not concentrate too heavily on technical information. Working in a software development company it can be hard to get the balance right and make sure that the salient points are included without getting bogged down in unnecessary technical detail."

Emma adds, "Career wise moving to Aberdeen was a very positive move for me. Shortly after arriving in Aberdeen I took a job with a serviced office provider as a receptionist and within a year I had been promoted to Assistant Manager. Indirectly this position contributed to my move to Codify. I think the fact that Aberdeen has such a buoyant and busy economy means that anyone with the right skills and a good work ethic can get on and progress their career."

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