Meet Alps Product Developer, Emily Greathead

6th August 2021

At Alps, we are proud to have so many talented women working for us in every corner of the business, from Software Engineers to Educational Consultants.  

This month we wanted to give you all the opportunity to meet one of our rising stars, Emily Greathead.  

In Product Development, Emily works closely with the Technical Teams and the Education Team, with a focus on making sure our products are as useful to our users as possible. Emily researches and designs new features, updates to our system and has recently been involved in the design and delivery of a whole new platform, Alps Summit! 

What is your career background?

My previous experience is a world away from Product Development. I studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge, specialising in Biological Anthropology, where I developed an interest in comparative primatology and infectious disease in non-human primates (and eventually human ones too).

After university, I spent some time as an intern in the WHO Ebola Preparedness Team during the 2014 epidemic, then went out to the Republic of Congo to study the movement patterns of Western Lowland Gorillas. As far removed from designing software as primatology is, learning all that I did about the scientific method – and applying it while thinking on your feet – was brilliant preparation for the research side of my role. 

How did you get into Product Development?

I actually started working at Alps as a temp in 2017 while looking for jobs in Epidemiology. I loved the culture and the people at Alps so much that within a couple of months I’d started on a permanent contract in Customer Support. As part of that role, I gradually became more and more involved with the development of Connect, eventually moving into Product Development full time in 2019.  

What do you enjoy most about working at Alps?

I love the challenge my job presents. A colleague recently joked that my job sounds like an escape room, we solve a problem and are presented with a new one, but that mix of problem-solving and creative thinking is pretty much perfect for me. 

What advice would you give someone wanting to start a career in Product Development?

I think it can be a tricky one to dive straight into – it’s a great job, but one that I had no idea existed when I was thinking about career choices at university. When starting out in Product Development I think it’s quite common for people to move internally but from various areas of their company. My advice would be to think about the sort of company you want to work for, in terms of area of work and company culture, then you’ll need to develop a solid knowledge of the product and understanding of the user. Those are more important than any particular route.  

Interested in joining the ever-growing Alps team? Get in touch. 

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