As we head into another year dominated by COVID-19 and working from home, we started 2021 on a roll with 2 new team members joining us. Timothy McDonald joined the development team as Software Tester and Miguel Amezquita the sales team as a Junior Account Executive.
Both Tim and Miguel have given us an injection of energy and as part of our strategy for the coming years to grow both the business and our numbers, we feel like we are off to a great start! We sat down over a virtual coffee with Tim and Miguel to chat about their experiences at Euformatics so far, and to hear how a chemist and a bioengineer play their parts in the world of NGS diagnostics.
- So guys, welcome to Euformatics! We are really excited to have you both on board and getting to know you better. Could you tell us a bit about yourselves and what drew you to us here at Euformatics?
TM: Hi there, I’m Tim! I’m working at Euformatics part-time as a software tester. I’ve lived in Finland for over 10 years, but I’m currently finishing my Master’s degree in Chemistry in Scotland. What drew me to Euformatics was being part of a company which is at the forefront of innovation in the bioinformatics industry focusing on genetic analysis. I think it’s really exciting to be part of the development of technology that can prove vital in successful diagnoses of based on their genetic code.
MA: I did my Bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering in Colombia and near the end of it I started to get interested in software applied to biological problems. Having previously worked foras a clinical data manager for MSD, I decided to move to Finland to complete a Masters degree, and while looking for a place where I could gain more professional experience in my interest area, I crossed paths with Euformatics.
- You each play very different roles in the company – could you give us a brief overview of what you do?
TM: I’m working part-time as a software tester. This is a necessary step in software development to ensure that our customers can use the product smoothly without any errors or bugs. It can be quite challenging thinking of ways to purposefully try and break the software!
MA: As part of the sales team, my job is to search for likely clients in the Spanish speaking market and approach them to see if our products could help solve a problem or pain point in their current operations. I will also learn how to give software demonstrations and sales pitches as part of that process which I am really looking forward to.
- This being 2021 we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, which of course means a varied work route. How have you found the combo of working both from home and occasionally in the office?
TM: Tell me about it… The few times I’ve been at the office, it’s been great getting to know my colleagues and I feel supported with my role. Fortunately, software testing doesn’t require much face-to-face work, so I’m able to manage working from the home-office! I’ll be going back to Scotland soon for my final semester of university, where COVID-19 lockdown measures are much stricter – hopefully I can continue to work effectively without despairing too much as the pandemic worsens there!
MA: This mix of working conditions has been convenient for me since I’m living in Tampere while studying for my Master’s in Health Technology and Informatics at the Tampere University. Remote work and study have their pros and cons but so far, I’ve been able to manage my time well enough. It also helps that most of my lectures are recorded and I am for the moment glad that I don’t have to make the commute to Espoo daily!
- The first couple of weeks at any new company are full of excitement and challenges. What has been the best part of your job so far, and what have you found the most challenging?
TM: The most challenging thing for me has been starting a new job (from home!). Introductions to people and software environments aren’t the easiest over a video call. But when I’ve had the chance to meet colleagues and chat over a cup of coffee, it’s been good fun! The best part so far has been feeling like I have a real responsibility in the company, and that makes me feel really valued.
MA: I like the close contact I have with companies – I find it very educational in helping me understand the needs of the market as well as the business perspective of our products. The biggest challenge is probably getting accustomed to all the different tools we use, as well as working out how to make first contact with potential customers.
- Everyone in Finland knows the Moomin characters – which character best describes your work personality?
TM: I’ve taken a quiz before said I was most similar to the Hemulen, the stamp collector… Very much a character who likes things to be ordered and rules adhered to. I can see myself in him, but I like to think my character isn’t quite as cold as the Hemulen’s!
MA: Moomins never quite made it to Colombia but from what I have read I like Snufkin the most.