Careers can typically take many unexpected turns in the tech industry. We’ve seen this time and time again at Process Street. One person who embodies this concept of career growth and transformation is Ellie Mahoney.
Being the link between customer needs and product development, Ellie’s role as Product Manager is a testament to Process Street’s commitment to empower top talent to evolve and thrive.
Her career transition in Process Street has made her a vibrant and dynamic force to be reckoned with. Ellie’s entire career path has travelled through many different industries, and she’s taken on more challenging roles than I have fingers – which is exactly how she likes it.
We’re taking a look at how Ellie’s diverse career path and skillset trickles into the work she does here at Process Street.
- Introducing our Product Manager: Ellie Mahoney
- Ellie’s professional life before Process Street
- From CS to Product Manager: Ellie’s career growth in Process Street
- Working at Process Street through Ellie’s eyes
Introducing our Product Manager: Ellie Mahoney
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
At the moment, I’m mostly doing land maintenance on my property. It’s about 2,000 square metres of land so there’s trees to cut and wells to clear. I’ve only got two wells but it’s all a bit of a mess.
Q: How do you start your morning?
I now have a very regular routine. The first thing I do is put the coffee on. I then go let the geese and chickens out of their pen so they can run around on the field. After that, I have my coffee and play Wordle, which I do religiously every day. I’ll then either read the news on the sofa or behind my exercise bike.
Q: Any interesting facts about yourself that people at Process Street might not know?
Brenda actually called this out the other day but I have a Bachelor of Science degree in archaeology, which encompasses my biggest passion of nature and animals. I started archaeology with a particular interest in anthropology. Facial reconstructions of dead people from their skulls and things like that really interested me.
It’s been a long time since I was at uni, but I still read loads and loads of stuff about ancient history, archaeology. I also like to go and visit lots of ancient sites, whether that’s cave art, prehistoric stuff, or Neanderthal sites.
Q: What are your favorite experiences or culture insights from living in the UK, the French Alps, and central Portugal?
I don’t know why but the first thing that springs to mind is cheese. I’m so food focused. But I love the fact that each place has its own kind of food history and sort of collection of cheeses that are unique to different regions of different countries.
Ellie’s professional life before Process Street
Q: Could you give us a high level overview on your professional background prior to Process Street?
It’s a really mixed bag. Straight out of uni, I went to work at a newspaper. At the time, I was just an admin assistant. But it gave me an overview of news and magazines. After that, I went into working in food sales and national account management for six years.
From there, I worked as an editor and writer for six years. And then I’ve worked in recruitment for engineers and in property management. I had my own business for a while repairing clothes and backpacks and stuff for people when I was living in France. I don’t believe I’ve worked in the same industry twice.
“Ellie is a cornerstone of the EPD team and a delight to work with. Not only has she swiftly stepped into the role of Product Manager, she continually seeks out new approaches to learning and contributing, while frequently mentoring others. We’re incredibly fortunate to have her on our team.”– Michael DeSouza, Director of Product Management
Q: Important moments, catalysts, turning points in your career?
I always remember the strong women that I’ve worked for. When I was working as a national account manager, I had this director called Elaine Walker. She was really inspirational to me.
She was determined, knew her stuff, and was one of the most fantastic bosses I ever worked for. And I just remember some of the advice that she gave me at the time. One that I have kept with me throughout my career is to not come to me with a problem but with a solution.
Q: What drew you to the field of archaeology, and do you have any exciting archaeological discoveries or projects you worked on that you’d like to share? Do you think your studies in archaeology have influenced the way you work in tech?
The first dig I ever took part in was on Lindisfarne Island in the North East of the UK. It’s the first place the vikings landed in 793 AD. That experience will always stay with me, not because we found lots of exciting things (we didn’t!) but I learnt a lot. I also worked on a dig in Leicestershire where we discovered a bronze age cremation, roman road and neolithic settlement all in one site, that was pretty amazing.
There are so many different things involved in archaeology like problem solving. You’ve got to figure out why something was in the ground and who made it or what kind of things might have led to that structure being there.
That kind of problem solving part of archaeology comes in handy in my role now. For example, if ever there’s a bug or someone raises a question, I’ll dig to find the whys and the wherefores until there’s an answer and solution.
“Ellie is such an amazing human being and a valuable part of the product team! Her ability to navigate the ins and outs of Process Street is truly remarkable. She’s got this incredible knack for learning and understanding what works and what doesn’t.”– Indiana Caba, Staff Product Designer
Q: Do you have any resources that have been instrumental in your growth and development?
The “Shape Up” methodology by Basecamp has been really useful because that’s what we use in the EPD team. That’s the principle of a 6-week engineering cycle and a 2-week cooldown, which is instrumental in how we work.
There’s also a product-focused book that Michael recommended to me called The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen. It helped me formulate ideas in the right way about product management.
“Ellie has had the most interesting, impressive, and dynamic journey here at Process Street. I originally hired her years ago to do support, but we quickly discovered her innate ability for writing, and so she became our chief support writer. Her contributions massively improved our documentation.
From there, she moved further into writing, joining our Customer Education Team, and leading the development of processes alongside continuing to produce excellent content. Finally, she discovered an interest in Product, which led her to transition over to the Product Team as a Product Manager, where she continues to impress with her product knowledge and ability to quickly understand customer needs and translate them into real solutions.“She is a joy to work with, and a role model for anyone looking to grow themselves professionally.”
– Blake Bailey, Director of Customer Success
From CS to Product Manager: Ellie’s career growth in Process Street
Q: Can you tell us about your journey at Process Street and how you transitioned from a customer support role to becoming a Product Manager?
I was working in CS and mainly doing demos. At the time, the help centre was occasionally being updated. I’d said I’d worked as a writer and editor for many years and asked if I could pick up the help centre content. That work began filling most of my day and I began organizing the content and standardizing it.
It then spread to me doing the release posts on new Process Street features, which led to me working more closely with the Product team. Most of my work then became more product-related than customer success even though I was still working in the CS team.
After this, I was asked to join the Product team, but besides the work I had been doing, I didn’t have a clue about product management. So I spent the weekend after I was offered the new role researching what a product manager is and how to make the transition from CS to Product. I did loads and loads of research in the first few months too. The whole team made the transition really easy for me. I felt really supported by Michael and the team to learn the ropes and get comfortable in my new role.
“Ellie boasts a deep knowledge of the product and a talent for effective product writing. She’s a great communicator and has been a consistent pleasure to work with over the years. What’s more, she keeps geese and chickens – a dying art.”– Oliver Peterson, Head of Content
Q: Product Management is often seen as a male-dominated field. What advice do you have for other women aspiring to pursue a career in this area?
So I wouldn’t even know that product management is a male-dominated field. Because, for me in Process Street, we only had a female product manager at the time I joined the company. I thought women could do this job straight out of the gate since there was already a woman in that role who I’d learnt from. I’ve never worked in product management in another industry so I didn’t have a clue if it was male-dominated or not.
But that said, I can understand if it is because what industry isn’t male-dominated? For other women aspiring to pursue a career in this area, I’d say get to know the thing that you’re working on very well.
Put yourself in the shoes of the user. Question everything that you see and learn all the ins and outs of it. Basically, know your stuff! If you know your stuff, you’ll become trusted. And people will respect that knowledge. And that knowledge will open doors for you.
“We’re really lucky to have Ellie on our product team. Her deep understanding of our product and customers is a huge asset, and she’s also a blast to work with. What more could we ask for?”– Tony Vila, Senior Product Designer
Q: Could you share a memorable project or achievement in your current role as a Product Manager that you are particularly proud of?
I haven’t led many things by myself because we’re only a small team, but some highlights for me are probably working on Microsoft Power Automate. That was instigated by David who was a previous product manager. But having that kind of door open on to the Microsoft platform is a brilliant achievement because we’re visible to people through Microsoft. Who doesn’t want to be visible on Microsoft’s website?
Process AI has also been game changing. Michael had the lead and the vision on that one. But it was great to be part of it. And great to see how far ahead of competitors we are with things like workflow creation and generation. I’m super proud of the whole team on that one. Everything we do is brilliant because of the way we collaborate as a team and the pace that we deliver updates and new features to our customers while maintaining quality. I’m also very proud of that. The EPD team rocks!
“Ellie is a staple around here. She made the transition from Customer Support Specialist to Product Manager flawlessly, always giving 110%. Not to mention she’s a joy to talk to and has the best stories! She always has a project going outside of work (remodelling, caring for all the animals) and loves learning. She embodies our values so well, and we are so lucky to have her!”– Ashley Chain, Director of People & Operations
Working at Process Street through Ellie’s eyes
Q: How did Process Street support you in your career transition and growth within the company?
By having a positive, collaborative, supportive kind of environment. I was working really closely with Tarik and Jason, and they wholeheartedly supported my move into the Product team.
Michael has also been very patient with my move into the Product team. He has a great style of teaching too which is great.
Q: What do you like most about working at Process Street?
The people! There’s never a problem. Everyone is super helpful and supportive of one another. It’s a great collaboration and makes it a great place to work at.
Q: What does it take to be successful at a company like Process Street?
Having the knowledge of the product and being transparent in how you work is a must-have. Also being a collaborator is invaluable because so much of how we work involves many different moving parts, not just one person. There are always going to be pivots and changes in this industry so being flexible is essential.
Q: Balancing work and personal life can be challenging. Can you share any strategies or tips that have helped you manage your career progression while pursuing your interests outside of work?
I was pushing myself way too hard and travelling all over the UK when I was working in national account management, and I burnt out in a big way. Having been through that and experiencing that mental shutdown, my work-life balance is something I prioritize now.
When it’s my working time, I work. When it’s my free time, I treat it in a very sacred way. Managing my calendar helps me prioritize my mental health because I can let people know when I’m available and when I’m not.
Working in product management also comes with a different set of challenges. Even though we’ll do a project and get to release it, there are still quite a few things around the edges that never get finished. I find that having a project outside of work that can have a straight beginning and end counterbalances this pain of something never being 100% finished.
“It’s amazing how Ellie is everywhere! She has been an inspiring mentor to me. What I love most about her is how she knows exactly where to point and what to say. I’ve learnt so much from her and look forward to learning more!”– Monica Thakwani, Customer Education Associate