This month, we’re shining the spotlight on Emma Dobbie-Beaudoin, Office Administrator at Elantis. There is no one who wears more hats at Elantis than Emma. After many years in the oil and gas industry as a payroll administrator, Emma realized she needed a career change. She found Elantis and has never looked back! In this inspiring interview, Emma shares her excitement for the tech industry and her passion for getting things done. She also reveals how she overcomes challenges and her best advice for anyone who might feel stuck in their comfort zone.
Andrea Nwobosi: What do you do at Elantis?
Emma Dobbie-Beaudoin: I am the Office Administrator as my official title, so I order groceries and make sure everything is organized around the office, but I also do payroll and accounting, as well. I help with proposals and I set up new jobs. My hats are in many places; I can’t think of anything else off the top my head. I’m sure there’s many more things I do. But yeah, that’s the gist.
Andrea: You’ve been with Elantis for over 2 years now, right?
Emma: I have. I started in March 2020 right before the world stopped.
Andrea: I’m sure you’ve seen the business change during the pandemic and now that restrictions have lifted, and that has helped your role evolve over time. So how did you get into the role that you’re in right now as Office Administrator? What has your career path been like?
Emma: So, my career path is not super interesting, to be very honest. My mom worked for an oil and gas company, and she got me the job there when I was 16 or 17 (I don’t quite remember) but I stuck there for years and years—seven or eight years—and I was just a payroll administrator there. And then I moved to a different oil and gas company and I was a payroll administrator there, as well. Then I decided that I don’t like the oil and gas industry and I really needed a change. I thought that tech is an up-and-coming thing and that it would be so cool to say I have a tech job. Office Administrator is not really a tech job, but I can say I work for a tech company, so it’s very cool.
Andrea: Well, that is an interesting career path! Obviously, you bring those payroll skills to your role today, which is great. You mentioned your mother had some influence in your career path. Was there anything or anyone else that drew you to payroll administration or office admin?
Emma: Yeah, my mom was a big influence in payroll because she was in payroll. So that’s who really got me started on that path. But as an Office Administrator, it’s always been something I thought I’d be good at. I’m quite organized and I’m kind of meticulous and can drive people a bit crazy sometimes! So, I don’t really think I have anyone that drew me in this way. I just thought I would be very good at it, so give it a shot—it’s something different. I’m still doing payroll, so it’s something I’m comfortable with.
Andrea: What are you passionate about? What parts of your role get you most excited to get out of bed in the morning?
Emma: I’m passionate about the proposal aspect of my role. I love organizing the proposal, putting it together, collaborating with my fellow coworkers, getting all the pieces in, and helping Amy Grendus, our Director of Marketing and Business Development. I like the organization—that makes me get up in the morning. Also, what gets me up in the morning is ticking off boxes. If I can get things done during the day, I’m very passionate about that, just getting things out of my inbox and going to bed knowing I’ve done the things that I set out to do. Yeah, that’s what I’m passionate about. Would be just organization and doing the proposals, putting it out there, and getting it signed!
Andrea: What is a moment in your career that you’re most proud of?
Emma: I would say what I’m most proud of is here, at Elantis, because it was quite structured in my previous jobs so there wasn’t room to do my own thing. I’m most proud of making my own processes. Dave Roe, the CEO, has been so forthcoming in letting me do my own thing. Just do it! And I can do it in my own way. I’m very proud of the processes that I have put in place, like some onboarding and offboarding. It could definitely use some work, but I’m very proud that it’s up to me to get it done. I like that a lot and I’m proud of it. I’m proud of being able to do my own thing.
Andrea: Isn’t it great to be able to work for a company that supports your development in that way and trusts that you’re going to find a way to make it work—you’re going to find a way to get the job done—and gives you the freedom and flexibility to do it?
Emma: Absolutely! Coming from a very different organization, it’s almost scary. This is too much freedom! I’m not used to it, it’s dangerous! (I think Dave thinks that sometimes.)
Andrea: What attracted you to Elantis, specifically? You mentioned that you liked the idea of working at a tech company; was there anything else that piqued your interest?
Emma: I remember looking for jobs because I wanted so desperately out of my other one. I came across Elantis, and I thought there’s absolutely no way they are going to want me. I have zero to do with tech, I just don’t have anything to do with it. So, I thought I’m just going to throw it out there and not expect anything in return. What really drew me in when I saw the ad is I looked on the website and (don’t tell Dave I said this) I saw Dave in that video on the website. I thought, “Oh my gosh, it would be so cool to work for this person.” That’s why I’m saying don’t tell him—because that’s too many compliments for him! I thought he seemed so down to earth and he gave off a very friendly vibe. He’s someone I’d want to work for. That really drew me in and I thought this is a dream job. I thought there’s no way I’m going to have to stay in oil and gas forever. And then they called me and I was so excited!
Andrea: It sounds like you’ve had a positive experience here. But, let’s be honest, not every day is sunshine and roses and rainbows. So, if you have ever encountered a challenge in your role to get something done or accomplished, how do you tend to overcome those challenges?
Emma: To overcome a challenge…it’s taken me a while to realize this. I tend to sometimes ignore things, like if I just ignore it, it’ll go away. That is not the proper response to challenges. I’ve learned to sleep on it first and then come back to it and communicate. That is a huge takeaway from my work experiences—communication with everyone involved if I’m having a challenge. You can’t just stew in your own misery if you don’t know what to do or think you might have screwed up. It’s never as bad as you think it is. The world’s not going to end because of what happened. Communication is my huge takeaway of overcoming a challenge because usually if you talk about it, it will get resolved. The challenge will get resolved if you talk about it and someone’s going to know.
Andrea: I find that here at Elantis, it doesn’t matter the question, the problem, or the challenge. If you bring it up, then we can collaborate and work together to come up with a solution. Do you have another piece of advice for someone who might be looking to get into a payroll or office admin role, or who is just starting in the tech world?
Emma: My piece of advice would be to try, even if you’re in a payroll or admin position, to put your hat into tech. I never, ever thought that a tech company would hire me. I would give it a try. Even though it’s scary, just do it! It was totally out of my comfort zone and I couldn’t be happier. I would absolutely recommend to people to just try and get out of your comfort zone. That’s kind of cliché, but the cliché is true.
Andrea: What’s next for you in your career?
Emma: I want to say something big and bold and that I’m going to shoot for the stars, but I want to just keep thriving in the tech world. I’m really interested in proposal development and I also like the HR aspect of things. I’ve done HR in previous jobs and I don’t mind doing it. I like processes and I know, Andrea, you like processes, too. I could definitely see myself growing and growing at Elantis because there’s so many opportunities here. I feel if I just want to do something, management will say, “Do it!” There is no limit and who knows, maybe I’ll become a SharePoint whiz or maybe I’ll become a Power Apps whiz. Maybe that’s my future.
Andrea: You never know, it just might be. You’re becoming a Promapp whiz now!
Emma: I am, I am! I didn’t even know what Power Apps were before I was at Elantis. So, I’m already growing more, so who knows? Maybe the tech will take me in the different direction. Maybe I won’t even do payroll in a year.
Andrea: Yeah, isn’t it amazing? Well, thank you so much for your time, Emma. Thank you for sharing your story with us and for being here. We’re so grateful to have you at Elantis. You’re such a key part of the team to keep things running smoothly and we’re just so grateful. I hope you enjoyed your time in the spotlight.
Emma: Thank you so much, Andrea. I appreciate it. Thank you. Have a great day!
We are proud to announce that Elantis has been named on the 2022 list of Best Workplaces™ for Today’s Youth. Elantis received this honour after a thorough and independent analysis conducted by Great Place to Work®.
Interview with Josh Roe, Solution Specialist at Elantis. Josh shares some insights into what inspired his IT career and how he has overcome challenges along the way.
A pessimist would view The Great Resignation as a sign that all employees are looking to leave their jobs. An optimist views this phenomenon as an opportunity to improve their internal environment and automation processes.