Let us introduce Fiona Edmond, our Business Development Executive who joined Condatis from an extensive sales background and immediately became an asset to our Commercial and Business team. In this Meet the Team Q&A, Sandra Jablonska, our Digital Campaign Executive, will find our more about Fiona’s personal and professional background as well as dig a little deeper into the work we do with higher education institutions.
Hi Fiona! Let’s start off easy – please tell us a little bit about your role at Condatis. What are your main areas of focus as a Business Development Executive?
At Condatis, it’s my responsibility to work with existing customers and help to generate new ones so that we can continue to grow as a business. From initial discussions around business needs, right through to a project being handed to our delivery team, I am the main point of contact for driving the engagement forward and working with the key stakeholders involved. I love it, as it lets me develop really strong working relationships with our clients and because identity is such an important factor across so many industries; it’s a constant learning curve for me.
What are your opinions on how identity can impact higher education? What are the biggest challenges higher education organisations are currently facing?
I think many of the systems and processes that Universities currently use for identity management are legacy ones, and technology has improved greatly since they were first implemented. We have a great opportunity within the Higher Education sector to make the process for University joiners, students and Alumni far more seamless. This might include things like speeding up the matriculation process and reducing the amount of admin involved, through to storing university degrees and transcripts as verifiable credentials which can be shared directly with future employers following graduation.
What is exciting about working in digital identity?
The technology, and the opportunity to work with some extremely intelligent people! Being safe and secure online has never been more important than it is today and getting to see how the solutions we build help businesses and individuals deal with these issues in practice is pretty cool. As the technology evolves, and with the recent introduction of verifiable credentials within digital identity, it’ll be exciting to watch this technology become part of all of our daily lives.
You studied psychology – how does it help you in building relationships with clients?
I think having a degree in psychology has been really valuable throughout my career so far. Initially, I thought that if I didn’t graduate and immediately become a Psychologist, then maybe I’d failed in some way. However, as I’ve taken on different roles throughout the years, I realise that the skills I learned around understanding how others might think or behave in a particular situation and being able to adapt to that have really helped me along the way. I like to think I’m pretty approachable and easy to get along with which always helps in sales, but maybe that’s just a nicer way of saying I talk too much! In any case, I do have a genuine interest in other people and I think it’s important to take time to understand people and what makes them tick so that you can build a solid basis for a lasting working relationship.
Apart from Digital Identity of course, what else are you passionate about?
I really enjoy running. I’m not great at it, but if I take it at my own pace, then I find it’s a really good way to clear my head and help me switch off. Last year I did my first ever 10k and that was a proud moment for me! I also enjoy cooking when I can find the time. Being a working mum means time in the kitchen in limited, but I do enjoy making a Sunday roast if we have family over, or cooking something delicious with a glass of wine on a Friday evening. For week nights, it’s Ella’s Kitchen and fish fingers all the way 😊
We were delighted to grow the ranks of #WomenInTech with every hire such as yours – are you seeing a growth in this area when you research the industry and speak to clients?
I think the tech industry is still very male dominated overall, however it is definitely starting to feel like there are more influential women entering this space which is great to see. As the mum of a little girl, I want her to learn that she can be anything she wants to be in life, as long as she works hard. There shouldn’t be a particular role or industry that she can’t work in, just because she’s female. I have lots of strong and independent women in my life, both in my friendship circles and professionally. I love being surrounded by them as they give me the motivation to work hard and set my goals high. Hopefully the trend of having more women in tech continues!
Let’s talk about the importance of work life balance, having a young family, hybrid working – what has been your experience so far?
Having my little girl, Leah, is the most important thing I’ve ever done. She’s 18 months old and she fills my days with happiness (and sometimes frustration!). Juggling all that being a mum entails, while making sure I give 100% to my career isn’t always easy. I’ve worked in companies previously where things weren’t always straightforward for those with young families but I can safely say that my experience with Condatis has been fantastic. There is an overall understanding that those who have young children may need some flexibility from time to time and because there are no issues with this, it makes me want to work as hard as I can in return. Working from home really helps with the balance too as it means I spend less time travelling in and out of the office and can have an extra half hour with Leah in the mornings.
Now I have a round of ‘Rapid Fire’ questions for you, are you ready? GO!
- What’s on your desk right now?
Coffee (always), my phone, a to do list and my little Alexa speaker.
- What’s your favourite meal?
Spaghetti carbonara with garlic bread…not ideal for a first date though 😉
- What’s the last show (book/music) that you binged and loved?
I’ll probably live to regret sharing this, but Love Island! We all need an escape from reality sometimes…
- What is a piece of tech that you couldn’t live without?
My Apple Watch. It lets me keep an eye on all notifications throughout the day and then I can pick up my phone to respond only to the important things. It has definitely helped me cut back on endless scrolling through social media which I hate doing!
- Give us a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you great joy or something that you’re deeply grateful for.
I have recently moved to Haddington (East Lothian) with Leah and into a lovely new build house that I never thought I’d be able to afford. I feel very lucky every day that we have a happy home for her to grow up in with space for her to learn and play.
Thank you very much! Bye Fiona, Bye Leah!