Over the past 20 years, my career in product development has been extensive. There have been many opportunities to collaborate across various projects and go head first into problems to find a way to solve them. I have been at Cambridge Consultants for nine years and have advanced through multiple job roles as well as completing a secondment in Seattle. Let’s dive into how my time at CC has progressed and the things I have been involved in.
I joined CC in 2014 as a Senior Consultant in the Global Medical Technology division providing technical leadership, direction and strategy. This was for a wide range of product development projects. I assisted project managers with technical input and gave support for business development activities when coordinating with clients.
Around five years later, I was given the opportunity to do a secondment in Seattle. During a divisional togetherness meeting, people were asked to volunteer if they wanted to relocate. This was to get a core MedTech presence out on the west coast to better serve our existing clients in that geography and find new business.
I went home and spoke to my wife, and after some discussion we decided to volunteer for the opportunity. When the approval process was complete, my wife and I went on a five day visit to the west coast to explore and see if we could envision our life in Seattle. I had the pleasure of meeting all of the people in the office, trying out a likely commute, took some time to look at schools for my children and make some property visits. My wife is a keen runner, so she was able to try out plenty of new running routes. The reality of the move became real very quickly!
We moved out to the west coast in December 2019 and stayed in an Airbnb for a month to get used to our surroundings and settle into our new way of living. By the end of January 2020, we had found a house to live in and had sorted out lots of personal admin like setting up a bank account and retaking my driving test.
As expected, it took a few months to get used to my new job role as a Vice President, Engineering and the shift of role from technical lead on projects to technical support to sales and business development. It was unfortunate that Covid hit when it did as it meant that everything switched to remote working, which made networking and meeting new clients in a new geography much more challenging. Despite this, I adapted to the new virtual way of working and even used Zoom to help host a regular informal networking meetup event that I had attended in-person before lockdown. It was great to be able to talk to potential clients about what problems they were trying to solve and how we could help them. Using my technical experience from project work and leading clients through the problem solving process was very enjoyable.
My secondment lasted two and a half years and it was a very busy period. But this didn’t stop us from exploring the Pacific Northwest as a family. It was amazing to be able to visit so many new places. I loved that it was only a 40 minute drive up the Interstate to the ski slopes, only a little further to be over the Cascade mountains into the completely different scenery of Eastern Washington. And in the other direction there was the temperate rain forest of the Olympic peninsula. It was a remarkable experience that I wouldn’t have got without the support of CC.
Life at CC after the secondment
When moving back to the UK in August 2022 I became Associate Director. I now work on blending deep technical knowledge in electronics, embedded systems and medical device development with an understanding of the commercial realities of product development. This helps clients turn their technology ideas into successful products.
I have spent much of my time at CC working with one particular client, Helius Medical, on a device that treats gait deficit caused by multiple sclerosis. The device is known as the Portable Neuromodulation Simulator (PoNS) and is the first commercial product from Helius Medical. It is designed to deliver potentially life changing therapy via the tongue.
The highlight of my career so far came during a deeply technical call with Helius Medical. I was invited to their internal company meeting where it was announced that the PoNS device had received market authorisation from the FDA. After years of hard work and the rollercoaster of emotions during product development this was a huge achievement for all involved. It is something that I am immensely proud of.
Earlier this year, my colleague Rahul Sathe arranged an event at CC and invited some patients into the office who had used the PoNS device. It was unbelievable to hear their testimonials and watch our hard work come to life. This was one of those moments that reminded me why I am doing what I do and how our work makes an impact to people’s lives. It’s been remarkable to help design and manufacture something that makes a real difference.
Day to day conversations with my colleagues are always on the topic of something geeky, and that’s why I love the people I work with. The ideas that individuals come up with are out of the ordinary. People can get stuck into whatever is thrown at them and work on developing new, innovative things. Everyone is very enthusiastic about the projects they are involved in and how problems can be overcome and solved.
If you want to work alongside other passionate, hardworking individuals then take a look at our job vacancies.