Nathalie Chinn
Interview

Meet Natalie Chinn

IT Solution Design Analyst
30/6/2020

INTERVIEW - NATALIE CHINN, A PLACE OF OPPORTUNITIES

Natalie joined CEVA in the UK in May 2011 as a PA/Secretary, she is now an IT Solution Design Analyst.

Hi Natalie, tell us a little about yourself

I started working for CEVA in 2011, as a PA/Secretary, working at the UK Head Office in Ashby de la Zouch. I got the job through a recruitment agency. It sounded like a good position, working with a nice team.

How were your first few weeks at CEVA?

It was a slightly strange start. I was supposed to be secretary to the IT Leader  Europe, but the position was only filled temporarily, so in the meantime I supported the UK IT team for the first three months.

The onboarding was good – my colleagues were really welcoming and happy to help, even if it was outside Ashby. That’s still the case.

Natalie Chinn

How did you get to where you are today?

As I explained, I joined as PA for the IT Leader Europe, but also to support the Head of IT in the UK, which I did for 18 months. One day, my boss asked me where I saw myself going longer term and I realized I didn’t want to be a PA for the rest of my life! He was very supportive, so when there was a major reorganization of IT within Europe, I was given a new role in the European team. A year later, a vacancy came up in the Global IT Service Management & Governance department working as global project officer on a one year project to implement a new system and then handle its administration. The system was eventually abandoned and I joined the UK IT team as a Project Analyst with the goal of moving the UK mobile phone contract from one provider to another. I stayed in that role for 5 years (including 10 months maternity leave).

I was offered the opportunity to take part in a pilot of some robotic process automation (RPA) software which led to me becoming the lead for this software for the UK. With no prior IT programming experience it was a steep learning curve but I was guided and supported every step of the way. This role involved looking at the operational processes to assess if they could be automated, and if any value could be added to the operations by implementing the RPA software. I was then responsible for designing and developing the RPA task and supporting it following go live. This ran for three years, with ten months maternity leave.

My current role as IT Solution design analyst was advertised internally and my manager was very supportive that I should apply. Now I work with the Business Development teams and Solution Design Teams to design IT solutions for new customers. It involves a lot of listening to customers's requirements and then working with local and global IT teams to find the best IT solution for their operation.

What makes CEVA a great place to work?

I have always been given the opportunity to progress, do different things and learn different skills. I always get support from my boss and my team, and they’re nice to work with. 

What are you most proud of?

I’m really proud of the work I did on the mobile phone supplier switch. I had just come back from maternity leave, and it was really intense; I was only getting three hours’ sleep a night, but the project went smoothly. 

What was your most challenging situation?

Balancing a really busy job with my home life. I had a demanding new baby who wanted breast-feeding until she was 9 months old and I was not getting a lot of sleep! But CEVA was very supportive throughout this whole period.

I have always been supported and given opportunities. If ever I mention anything, it is always picked up and acted on.

NATALIE CHINN
IT Solution Design Analyst

​​​​​​​What are your ambitions for the future?

I don’t have a clearly-defined plan: I tend to go where the opportunities lead. Right now, I can’t see beyond the next 3-6 years, as I don’t yet know where my current role might take me. I want to really master this role, but there’s still a lot to learn as I am only 6 months into it. This is an opportunity to develop in a senior role so I want to do that and feel comfortable with it. After that, who knows?! I want to increase my exposure to the business and operations, and see where that leads.

How would you describe CEVA to your friends?

CEVA is friendly, supportive, and you get the opportunity to grow if you want to. It’s a worldwide company so you get to speak to people from all over the place. No day is really the same, and every customer is different, but that’s the nature of logistics. You’re encouraged to voice your opinion, and speak out even if you think you might sound stupid!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes. While at CEVA I had two children, who are now aged 2 and 6. During maternity leave I always felt supported and was never made to feel it was a bad thing: it was seen as positive and everyone congratulated me and were happy for me. Now I’m back, it definitely hasn’t hindered my opportunities with CEVA: it has been really good. And I am able to achieve a good balance between having young children and working.

Natalie at her desk

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