Meet the team: Holly Newton
Holly is our Director of Operations and is based from her home office in South Wales. She shares her experience of working with the Further Education sector – and her top tip for keeping fit whilst working a desk-based job!
I really enjoy my role, mostly because I get involved in a bit of everything. There is no such thing as a typical day because of that. I could be delivering online training to a customer or working with Alison to update a training programme; and then it could be a demo’ to a potential customer – either online or sometimes in person; or following up a quote or demo. I also answer support calls, especially on Mondays when Alison doesn’t usually work. Planning product development for eSpirALS is interesting; we will take ideas and suggestions from customers and turn them into detailed ‘User Stories’ to put to the development team. From time to time, I get to represent eSpirALS at conferences and events; it’s great to see our customers (and I get to leave my husband in charge of our two small children for a night or two!).
I’ve worked with Midas Systems since August 2011, firstly on our Spirals software, then Atlas, before we merged with VLE Support in 2016 and relaunched Atlas as eSpirALS. Working here feels that I’ve found my niche – at last! I did a degree in Primary Education with maths and so initially went into primary teaching when I graduated, but I soon realised that it wasn’t for me. I then found a job in customer support in a call centre; whilst I enjoyed getting to know customers and solving problems, I also knew that wasn’t going to be a long-term position. From there, I got the Customer Support role at Midas Systems and I quickly got to take on more responsibility. I guess it’s no surprise that I particularly enjoy the training aspects of my role now; I worked out that I’ve delivered training to more than 65 colleges over the years. It makes such a difference having an audience who want to learn!
And the customers I get to work with are lovely people. In my experience, learning support staff are generally always caring folks, so it’s nice to be able to support them. Growing up, both my parents worked in a Camphill Community, supporting adults with special needs, so I suppose I’ve seen how much of themselves people can invest in this type of role; it’s not just a job, it’s a vocation.
I also love getting to come into eTrackr HQ every few months. Working from home can sometimes be lonely so it’s great to feel part of the team and catch up with people. I think the varying skills and experience amongst our team is fantastic. All of us are here because we have unique skills to offer. I think, because of that, we give really great support to customers from initial purchase right through the years they use the products.
On the whole, I do like the flexibility of working from home, and I squeeze all of this into school hours just four days a week (Monday – Thursday). In order to try to stave off the effects of sitting at a desk for long periods of time, I have set up a standing desk, with laptop, monitor and keyboard arranged on a series of boxes. You should probably know that, if I’m on the phone to you, I may be doing side steps or knee lifts whilst we’re talking!