At Ascend, we strive to provide opportunities for employees to stretch their skills and advance their careers by moving among business segments, brands and teams, 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.”
Joanna Gallant made her move from a product manager role on the nursing team at Jones & Bartlett Learning to a newly-formed team in the healthcare segment, where she serves as the senior transformation manager and is helping the segment shape and execute its future strategy.
Ascend Communications (AC): How did your experience at Safety & Security help prepare you to make your move across the business into a new segment?
Joanna Gallant (JG): Having spent most of my time in the operations/production shared services team previously, serving on the product team at Jones & Bartlett Learning brought me even closer to the customer and added to my appreciation for the incredible team members in content/implementation, marketing/design, operations, platform and sales who all work together to bring problem-oriented solutions to market. With the incredible support and guidance of leaders and colleagues I was able to broaden my understanding of the business and how best to serve the nursing market both today and in the future. Safety & Security is a great segment to work for!
AC: How would you describe the dynamic of your new team?
JG: The [healthcare] businesses we support are filled with brilliance, energy, passion and drive, and it’s been great getting to know so many team members. I learn something new every day and often feel like a full sponge by the end of the week with all that I’ve soaked in. Starting each new week by acting on what I learned from the week before helps to start each week with an empty sponge.
AC: What was the process like making your move?
JG: I was contacted by HR, who presented the position to me, sharing the job description and the general team makeup. It was a brand-new role and department which I’ve experienced in the past but can be a risk with expectations, role clarity, placement in the organization, etc.
As soon as I read the job description, I knew it was a role that both tapped my strengths and set me up for a lot of learning and growth opportunities — a balance I always look for. I treated it like any other job interview, applied for it and got a chance to meet the team. My former managers were incredibly supportive and kind.
AC: How have Ascend’s values & culture influenced this process for you?
JG: Ascend is a unique business that has supported me for over 10 years in various roles and the culture is a big reason why I continue to grow my career here. It’s been lovely to work with new members of Ascend in Healthcare and Shared Services knowing that the values-centered culture is truly reflected everywhere.
Both in my experience as a people manager and individual contributor, our values have always kept work very “human-centered” for me. It’s clear that values do matter; if we keep them first, assume positive intent in others and embrace change we will be ok. I am so grateful that there’s room for grace — which is important to me personally — and that we will learn, support, fail, succeed and move forward together.
AC: Do you have any words of encouragement to others at Ascend who are considering “making their move?”
JG: Taking risks in a place where you are “known” is still scary but takes the edge off, especially when the job offers opportunity for you to learn something new, leverage your strengths and pushes you out of your comfort zone. It’s been worth the risk to make this move and I’ve honestly enjoyed every minute of it, even the challenging moments. I don’t think I’ve ever learned this much in such a short amount of time, and I love it.
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.