Working Life Blog
Innovation and Meaningful Connections.
Kara Lasater – Project Manager
I began my career in aerospace as a mechanical engineer in the United States, but I had a keen interest in international business and innovative technology. I decided to branch out, so I packed my bags and headed for Scotland to explore business consultation and project management. I gravitated toward fields where technology was transforming the way people work and collaborate, and it was at that intersection that I discovered Aridhia.
My role as a project manager at Aridhia is to coordinate and implement the Aridhia Digital Research Environment for different organisations and research institutions around the world. Getting to orchestrate software and digital transformation projects from inception to launch and beyond is exciting and interesting work since it can vary so much from case to case.
One constant, however, is communication and forging meaningful connections. Building productive pathways and collaboration between Aridhia’s different product, delivery, and customer enablement teams is a big part of managing successful projects. It’s equally important to work closely with customers to help them fulfil their vision and create long-lasting relationships.
Every day is different and offers new challenges and opportunities. My day may consist of catching up with colleagues in Scotland and Wales over coffee, meeting with partners in India to discuss new feature improvements, and planning public launches with clients in the US (we may or may not compare weather patterns and seasonal gardening tips as well).
Connecting with people is a huge part of my job, and while the new remote-first world is a bit different than more traditional methods, it offers huge benefits to global teams, making it easier to connect and stay in touch. It’s also amazingly humanising when someone’s corgi decides to greet everyone on a call, and we’re reminded how much we have in common despite the digital divide.
I’ve been fortunate to work on a broad spectrum of projects and pilot programs. Some personal highlights include a COVID-19 research initiative, a series of revolving data challenges in pharmaceutical and start-up ecosystems, and non-profit data consortia tackling rare disease and Alzheimer’s research. The diversity in scope and scale offers a truly unique project portfolio. The nature of modern technology to unite and equip people around the world combines with healthcare and biomedical research in interesting ways. It’s exciting to be a part of the bleeding edge of that trend and pave the way for the concept of digital and trusted research environments like the Aridhia DRE.
Aridhia also fosters a culture of openness and learning which has enabled me to pursue deeper knowledge in interests like cloud computing, agile software development, and managing technical projects. Working closely with the senior management team to develop new business opportunities and customer solutions has also been a hugely valuable experience.
My favourite part of working at Aridhia is that I know I’m directly contributing to improving our collective understanding of medicines, diseases, and new treatment options. Aridhia is a big advocate for open and FAIR data principles, so the impact reaches far beyond the Aridhia platform. Oftentimes, the groups that need answers the most are the ones that lack sufficient data and tools. So working at Aridhia and engaging global partners to empower those groups is incredibly gratifying. It’s inspiring when global researchers and patient communities are able to harness data and discover new insights. Where else can you work for a small company with such a positive, far-reaching impact on people around the world?