Ashley Deveny – Creating History: Women in Tech & Business Leadership at Athenium Analytics
This March we celebrate Women’s History Month by recognizing some of the fantastic women at Athenium Analytics. Our company is so proud to have so many exceptional women across all of our teams, including meteorology, data science, engineering and product management. These women are making history every day by solving some of the toughest problems in the insurtech world. Karlene Kiskinis, Design & Social Media Manager at Athenium Analytics, will be interviewing women all month long and sharing their stories and insights about their careers in tech.
First up is Ashley Deveny. She is the Vice President of Product & Content Development here at Athenium Analytics, where she manages a team of 3 that is responsible for market research, product development, and 3rd-party content purchases. Ashley’s career has been dedicated to managing data & intelligence to create lasting insights to help businesses grow.
Name: Ashley Deveny
College / Grad School (and Majors): University of Connecticut, BA in English & BA in Music; Simmons University, MS in Library & Information Science
Title: Vice President of Product & Content Development
Time at Athenium Analytics: Almost 2 years (started May 2017)
How did you start your career?
When I started my master’s degree program at Simmons University I made it a goal of mine to try and gain work experience in as many different libraries as I could. I worked in archiving – digitizing travel scrapbooks from the late 19th and early 20th century at Boston Public Library, Northeastern University Library and in a corporate library at a consulting firm in Boston. What I learned through all these experiences is that I enjoyed helping people find answers and solve problems. I then took a competitive intelligence analyst position at a global life science and technology company where I spent my days talking to business partners trying to understand their data needs, researching market and competitive intelligence and working with strategy teams to solve problems and create solutions. During these early years in my career is where I really took the time to learn what kinds of teams I liked working with, what work environment I best performed in and where I wanted to take my career next. Allowing yourself the time to try as many paths as you can before deciding which one to go down is a risk, but it is worth it when it leads you down the right path.
What is the best/most rewarding part of your job?
I can’t choose just one, because they are both equally rewarding. Being in an environment where I am constantly learning and hearing from clients that our solutions help them solve some of their toughest problems.
Not only do I learn from our academic and industry experts, whether they’re meteorologists or insurance experts, but I’m also learning from my executives, team members and colleagues in an environment where curiosity is encouraged and expected.
I also think it is extremely rewarding to hear from a client that we had a part in solving their toughest problems, whether it’s fraud detection using our post forensics application or best practice identification with our quality assurance tool. Knowing your work is having a direct and positive impact on clients and real people is a great feeling.
What is one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my career is that it’s OK not to be the smartest person in the room. First, because it leaves room for self-improvement to learn and grow, and is an important part of your own career progression. I always look for growth and learning opportunities anywhere I find myself. Second, acknowledging this allows you to rely on and empower your own teams. I work with extremely smart women and men. Taking the opportunity showcase their expertise is just as rewarding as sharing your own. As a leader, their success is your success, and empowering your own teams through the acknowledgement of their unique perspective and knowledge is part of that success.
Do you have any advice for women pursuing their career in Library Science?
This is one of my favorite topics, yes! Don’t let anyone tell you “libraries are dying.” The institutions are adapting and we information professionals are evolving. Now, more than ever, the world needs women who are experts in solving problems, finding answers, curating data, managing vast amounts of gathered intelligence, and most importantly, the acknowledgment from yourself and others that these skills are invaluable in business today. Let’s also not forget the confidence needed to own these skills, you got this! These skills are transferable to all industries where information and data play an important role and, spoiler alert, that’s all of them! Even if the job description doesn’t say “librarian” your skills are far more relevant and valuable than you may realize.
What does your role at Athenium Analytics involve?
Each day is different, which I enjoy. We work at such a fast-paced company where we are always thinking of new solutions, solving new problems, working with new clients and meeting new people. However, one thing that stays the same every day is that I am collaborating. From meteorologists and developers to data scientists and product owners, my days are filled with opportunities to collaborate, create and work with these amazing women and men. Whether it’s a brainstorming session in the morning, followed by a client presentation in the afternoon, or a local volunteer STEM program to a company celebration, my days are spent working alongside some great people.
What unique skills/experiences were you able to bring at Athenium Analytics?
I found a perfect fit at Athenium Analytics, a company that truly seeks to understand the person behind the resume when hiring. Looking at just the resume would uncover an interesting background (a French horn player, English major and librarian). Most hiring managers would ask themselves, how will she fit in at a fast-paced high-tech analytics company? However, I was able to bring my creativity, problem solving skills and what I consider to be the most important, my proactiveness and adaptability to Athenium Analytics. Within each person’s unique background is hidden an expansive set of skills and experiences that can’t be covered in a single page resume. Being able to share these skills with Athenium Analytics has been a great experience.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of work?
I love travelling and try to take a couple trips per year, never visiting the same place twice, with maybe a few exceptions – but that’s for another day. Some of my most recent trips were to Hawaii, Iceland, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and Germany. My favorite trip was to Seville, Spain – the orange trees, the tapas and wine, and the most beautiful architecture, my favorite being the Alcázar of Seville. While I love what I do, it’s nice to unplug from work, and even better, work with people who understand, respect and encourage that. This allows me to come back refreshed and ready to hit the ground running. Where am I headed next? Ireland, for an exciting round the country road trip – wish me luck driving on the other side of the road!
Stay tuned for more insights from inspiring women at Athenium Analytics!