At Punch Through, we encourage everyone to proudly be themselves and want you to know the people behind the work that we’re so proud of. That’s why we launched our “Meet the Team” series, where we introduce you to one of our team members each month.
Meet Elaine. Project Manager at Punch Through. When she’s not keeping projects moving and the team organized, she enjoys being outside, running, traveling (to places she can look at cool rocks), and hanging out with her dog, Charlie.
What were you doing before working at Punch Through?
I went to Winona State in Minnesota and got a B.S. in Geology. I started college as a psychology major and realized I just wanted to learn everything I could. One requirement I had was to take a science class with a lab, and I think rocks are pretty cool, so I took the class and switched majors halfway through. That’s how I landed on Geology.
After graduating, I did some geology work for three months, and life took me to California. When I got there, I found a job working for an environmental software company. It had a technology and geology component that I really enjoyed. They wrote software related to water quality data, environmental health and safety, waste, and compliance, things like that. I moved my way through technical documentation to software configuration to project management. I realized I really enjoyed project management. It has to do with organization, and organization is kind of my thing.
I worked remotely for the last 5 years of my entire time with that company, and I wanted to get back into an office with in-person interaction. I saw Punch Through’s Project Manager job listing and the culture spoke to me.
What is your favorite thing about Punch Through culture?
Everything. It’s the culmination of the work environment that it creates. Everyone has each other’s backs and is always ready to help each other learn, grow, figure things out, and get stuff done. We are all working towards the same goal in a positive way.
Everyone is so uniquely themselves. No one really tries to be anyone who they’re not. It creates another layer of the work environment that allows you to get to know people on a more personal basis that you can’t get elsewhere.
Tell me a story about your most memorable moment while working at Punch Through
One really cool thing was the first retrospective. It was about 1 to 2 months after I started, so I was mostly observing. It was nice to see everyone really think about what happened over the last six months. Open feedback was shared on how to make positive changes. From upper management to newbie me, we engaged in an open and honest conversation.
Another memorable moment was the LaCroix chat on Slack. I’ve never seen a conversation on an IM channel blow up so quickly. It started with one article ranking LaCroix flavors, and within three minutes, there were over 30 comments. It was nice to see everyone take a few minutes out of their work schedule to comment on something non-work related and just have fun.
What cool or rewarding things do you get to do on a regular basis?
Help customers solve problems. It’s a simple statement, but I can see how it makes a difference in our customer’s lives. I like being a part of a team that solves problems to make things better.
What is the most valuable part of your work to you on a personal level?
I’m learning a lot. I was a person who liked school because I was constantly learning new things. I think it’s really cool that I get to learn things that I never thought I’d learn in my career.
I’m also setting better goals for myself personally because I feel myself growing professionally, and that is branching out to other areas of my life. I can grow in all facets of my life and not just one.
What is different about Punch Through versus other places you have worked?
The culture. I know that is a “common” answer, but the culture here is so different. We’re all empowered to not only do our best, but to grow to be ourselves. I think that environment creates a unique setting where everyone isn’t just punching in and punching out. We’re here to learn and grow, not just get a paycheck. It feels like more than a regular job. Not – that past companies I’ve worked at didn’t have a great culture or great group of employees, but I’ve just never seen this across the board with everyone, wanting to learn and grow.
Interested in Joining Our Team?
To meet more of the Punch Through Team, read these interviews:
Meet the Team – Karel Kalthoff – Firmware/Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Louis Barrett – Engineering Intern, Summer 2019
Meet the Team – Erin Moore – Hiring Coordinator and Office Manager
Meet the Team – Alec Letourneau – Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Andy Lee – Senior Embedded Engineer
Meet the Team – Amanda Nguyen – Embedded Engineer
Meet the Team – Gretchen Walker – Mobile Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Charlie Kellerman – Hardware Engineer
Meet the Team – Chee Yi Ong – Senior Mobile Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Henry Anfang – Embedded Engineer
Meet the Team – Ryan Kornetzke – Embedded Engineer
Meet the Team – Julian Hays – Mobile Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Tyler Cadman – Senior Embedded Engineer
Meet the Team – Bret Hassler – Principal Firmware Engineer
Meet the Team – Emily Hinderaker – Marketing Specialist
Meet the Team – Ashish Derhgawen – Mobile Software Engineer
About the Blog Series…
Great culture builds great products. Some of the ways culture is expressed at Punch Through are through authenticity, autonomy, and experience. The individuals at Punch Through not only build great products, but they are the culture. The individual team members aren’t defined by their past or title. They’re encouraged to be true to themselves, learn from each other, and grow professionally and personally.
It’s essential to get to know the people behind the projects and to understand how culture plays a vital role in everything we do. To help get inside the heads of the genius behind the brand, we’re launching a “Meet the Team” blog post series. Each post will feature one of our talented team members where you can get to know them on a bit more personal level, and see how their contributions make Punch Through what it is today.