At Ascend, we strive to provide opportunities for employees to stretch their skills and advance their careers by moving among business segments and brands, driving personal and team growth while creating a culture where people love what they do, take ownership and are empowered to pursue new career opportunities within the company so we “hire our own talent.”
In the “Make Your Move” Q&A series, we’ll share the stories and experiences of employees who have “made their move” to new teams to help inspire and empower you as you consider pursuing new opportunities at Ascend.
While serving as a graphic designer supporting the marketing and product teams at BoardVitals, Meghan Poniatowski requested a stretch assignment to develop her skills in the UX/UI field. She was invited to contribute to the early design and UX testing stages of a website refresh project and proved to be a valuable contributor in the process, which led to an opportunity to make her move to the UX team in February.
Ascend Communications (AC): How would you describe your former team at BoardVitals?
Meghan Poniatowski (MP): BoardVitals is so unique; it’s like a startup within a large company with a close-knit, diverse and very driven group of people. The design team is even smaller [with three people] which allowed each of us to focus on specific areas including marketing and product design, which was my focus area. I love the product side and connecting with developers and product managers, and being on a smaller team also opened my eyes to other possibilities and think about “what else can I do or where else can I go at this company?”
AC: What successes are you most proud of with your former team?
MP: We built a very robust, research-based brand style guide that pulled in data from surveys and qualitative interviews with medical professionals. We put in a lot of time — about six months — to understand what triggers them and what they gravitate towards, i.e., what makes them want to click on an ad and their [purchasing] behavior in general. That was one of my favorite projects.
AC: Can you tell us about your path from BoardVitals to your new role?
MP: Since my focus area was graphic design supporting the product team, I had started sitting in on the UX team’s weekly meetings and started to familiarize myself with user experience in general. As I started to meet the UX team and get involved in their processes, it felt like a great fit. They were looking for someone to help fulfill their needs and presented me with an opportunity to apply for an opening on their team, which was exciting. Once there was a job posted, I applied through the website, and it was a seamless process from there.
AC: What attracted you to the new opportunity?
MP: Growth is so important to me. Ascend encourages people to apply for internal jobs, and when you’re already established in a community within the company, you’ve set up a growth path for yourself based off your previous hard work. I loved that I would still be able to communicate and work on future projects with my team at BoardVitals and was excited to join a shared service team that touches all the brands and meet more people across Ascend.
AC: How would you describe the dynamic of your new team?
MP: It’s a bigger team with a wealth of knowledge, and everyone has been very welcoming and supportive. There’s a bit of a learning curve in general because I’ve been used to short turnaround [deadlines] for designs and now I’m working on large-scale projects that have a much longer process because we’re putting in research to back up a design with data and user testing, all while coordinating with cross-functional teams. It has been challenging in the best way to move into a new role and grow while still working at the same company with the same big picture goal.
AC: Do you have any words of encouragement to others at Ascend who are considering “making their move?”
MP: Just go for it. The team that I was leaving had my back; they were excited for me and supported me. And the team I was joining was just as excited. You have a huge community of people at Ascend that want to see you succeed and grow — there’s nothing to lose.
When team members move to new roles across Ascend, they grow their skills and stretch their capabilities within a company they already know, maintain their benefits and connections with colleagues, and teams gain an employee already invested in the work, mission and culture — one that can ramp up quickly and bring legacy knowledge to their new role. To learn more about career opportunities at Ascend, visit our Careers page.