Interviews Roles in Agile

The Inner Story – Previous Roles and What I’ve Learned

The Inner Story 2019 series.

What’s the Inner Story series? These are the hidden stories from our The Back Story team interviews in 2019.  When we went back and looked at all our interviews over the past year we noticed some powerful themes surfacing.    So we thought what better way to count down to 2020 than share some of these with you.   



We asked our team has their previous experience and career helped define where they are now? Would they have done things differently?


Caitilin Studdert -Principal, ADAPTOVATE, Australia.

Absolutely. I use every single part of my career experience daily. I’ve had numerous temporary roles and some very long term positions as well. It’s the people I’ve interacted with in the roles that have taught me the most, not the function or the responsibility of that role. I’ve had some incredible bosses and for each of them I could recite their mantra and often do daily in my work still.

What would I do differently ? I would recognise that my failures (in projects and in job applications) have taught me more than my successes. My first job as a 14 year old as a casual taught me as much as any professional job I’ve had since. no regrets on career: my choice of marketing initially was brilliant as it enabled me to focus on people and teams, and now in consulting I’m surrounded by people, teams and aspirational goals which I love.


Chelsea Bates – Principal, ADAPTOVATE, Australia.

My career has taken a curved path with new opportunities and skills to learn with each role. I moved from accounting to sale across industries and with small private companies to large ASX organisations. They have all helped with the different skills needed for the role I am now in. On reflection, I wouldn’t have done anything differently as I have learned so many new things and had the opportunity to work with so many fantastic people.


Steve Walton – Project Lead, ADAPTOVATE, USA.

My previous career included being part of an industrialised project management system. I was always the rebel, seeking ways to do things differently. It became natural to implement Agile processes and mindsets whenever I could. My reputation was one of: *Strong prioritisation – to ensure we focused on the most valuable work by removing distractions of work that would never be done *Removing waste – Identify what didn’t need doing and simplifying process *Extreme visibility – showing the status of all our work to drive conversations about progress and blockers I would have spent more time talking about why I was making the changes.

Consulting has taught me about the importance of bringing a wider group of people along the journey of change.


Brigitte Odgers-Jewell – Principal, ADAPTOVATE, Singapore.

My entire life has been about trying new things. Travel and adventure have been a passion from a very young age. I spent time in hospitality running restaurants and bars in my youth. I spent a couple of years running a dive resort and then went on to travel the world on cruise ships as a photographer and later a croupier. These jobs gave me great insight to people and culture all around the world. It was a wonderful time. In 2004 I was introduced to corporate life when I took on the roll of Webmaster for a Bank in Queensland. This organisation would introduce me to Agile and the rest is history. Learning and experimenting was expected and encouraged. The friends that I made at work are still my best friends today to the point where we still get together and have reunions around the world. It is true, the teams that play together stay together! I’ve seen what good looks like and it boils down to leadership at every level. Looking back, I think I made some good choices and took whatever opportunities I saw, I’m happy with that.


Katy Hughes – Senior Consultant, ADAPTOVATE, Australia.

I came into the industry straight out of university, joining a graduate scheme at a large company. Being exposed to so many different types of people, opportunities and ways of working meant I learnt an incredible amount in a very short period of time. Working in such a large organisation across a variety of projects I quickly learned the basics of project work, what I did and definitely didn’t want to do and what kind of person I aspired to be. Personally, I don’t think there’s much I would have done differently career wise. Having early exposure to some incredibly talented people made me understand the value of respect, integrity and hard work in this industry so I make sure I carry these values with me every day.


Michal Bak – Principal, ADAPTOVATE, Poland.

I have always been eager to try new things and that for sure defined where I am today. Accepting new challenges and then relentlessly focusing on delivering impact became part of my DNA. In addition, working for different organisations in different countries and cultural contexts helped me become more sensitive and humble. Would I do things differently? I don’t think so… I always try to take decisions based on my best current knowledge, and then take full responsibility for them


Kayla Cartwright – Senior Consultant, ADAPTOVATE, USA.

Sure, there are a few times I would have liked to either fail faster/ learn faster. All in all, I think each job I’ve done, from restaurant jobs in high school to working as a science teacher, to living and working in new countries— each experience has allowed me to focus on building relationships and achieving results for ‘customers’ in any environment. So I wouldn’t change toooo much.


You can read full interviews with our team at THE BACK STORY

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