Insight | Mar 24, 2020 | Arora
Employee Spotlight: Emily Schroeder
Emily Schroeder is a Business Analyst for Arora Technology Group (ATG) in our Chadds Ford office. Emily joined our growing ATG team in 2018 and has become an integral part of the organization as the product owner for several products, including TRAX Analytics. Emily was recently recognized by Arora’s Value Recognition Program for “Communication,” acknowledging her exceptional communication skills across multiple teams.
How did you come to do what you do? Was this a lifelong goal?
Throughout school I was a very literature-oriented student. I filled all my electives with writing classes and tore through close to a dozen books a month with aspirations of being a published author. I attended Temple University in pursuit of a journalism degree, thinking my interest in writing would be enough to pique an interest in journalism, but I learned rather quickly that the field wasn’t for me. I dropped out after about two years and started working on a farm in the town where I grew up, until my boyfriend pushed me to apply to ITWorks, a professional IT training and certification program. I was never all that technologically inclined, but I took a shot and sent in an application.
What do you enjoy most about your job? What motivates you?
I think what I enjoy most about my job right now is the amount of time I get to spend really learning. Whether it’s about a new product we can try to work into our solutions, or just a deeper dive into the specialties of a fellow team member so I have a better understanding of how their abilities benefit the greater whole, I can constantly expand my own knowledge to improve myself, my team, and my work.
Personally, I think my family motivates me the most. When I dropped out of college, everyone seemed to feel the impact of it. My parents never finished college themselves and they were committed to giving me and my sister the best opportunities possible, degree included. I feel a bit like I let them down in that respect, so I want to make that up to them in whatever way I can.
What makes you a unique, successful employee?
I think my somewhat unconventional background for my field definitely makes me unique. Being a little late to the IT party forced me to approach problems in a way that someone who is more well-versed in the topic may not consider. It allows me to find common ground between the two ends of the tech-spectrum, the creator and the consumer.
What are some of the challenges you face day-to-day?
Every day could bring the introduction of new technology, including new potential hardware solutions, new possible software integrations, new feature requests that a client would like to see, or even improvements to our existing solutions and processes. The real challenge there is just understanding all the new options that are constantly coming out, figuring out how they compare to our existing solutions, and determining whether “new” is really synonymous with “better.” I find one of the biggest challenges for myself in this area is having to stop from bringing new tech to the table that I think is really neat but might not be a true product improvement.
What are your career goals?
In an effort to bridge my current skill set with my interest in writing, I think it would be amazing to be able to write the storyline and gameplay dialogue for a Roll Playing Game (RPG) at some point during my career, but that is more of a personal goal than a career goal. I’m doing my best to capitalize on any and all training opportunities that come my way and I’m actually enrolled in a two-day training course to get my CSPO certification this week. My thinking is that the more I learn, the more I will understand where my passions in this field truly lie, and then I can pursue them when I have all the necessary tools at my disposal, or at least more tools than I had before.
What do you like to do for fun?
I still read and write a lot in my free time and play video games fairly often too, mostly RPGs because, as you’ve probably been able to tell, I’m a sucker for a good story. I also enjoy cooking quite a bit. I live just a few blocks from the Italian Market in Philadelphia, so it’s fun to take a walk through the stalls and see if there’s anything that looks interesting to cook with.