Kelli Eason works as a project manager for a health care IT company, bringing all of the moving parts together to help clients implement new technology systems.
“I work with my clients to set timelines, engage the proper resources and manage the progress/risks along the way,” Kelli says. “Although I am not ‘technical’ in nature, I do work with technical teams and ensure they have everything they need to be successful.”
Project managers provide the backbone of support for the teams who make up the "meat" of the work, she says.
“I plan to stay in this role for the foreseeable future because I am constantly faced with new challenges, experience new situations with every project I'm on, work with incredibly knowledgeable and talented individuals, and truly believe in the mission at Cerner.”
The role dovetails well with Kelli’s personal passions—serving the Kansas City community, especially through volunteering with the Junior League—and pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
“You typically can find me working out outside or trying a new healthy recipe,” she says. “I use my company's health software to track my physical activity, and I also use my FitBit to keep track of my daily goals. I also imagine ways to integrate daily health data into Electronic Health Records to help identify areas of risk, track healthy habits and also inspire individuals to take ownership of their decisions to be healthy.”
Kelli, who is a native of Clarinda, Iowa, earned her Bachelor’s of Journalism degree in Advertising from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Along with her volunteer work and interest in health and fitness, she enjoys the great outdoors through running and kayaking, trying craft beer and cocktails and tackling home improvement projects.
Her advice to girls considering a career in tech? Think broadly and consider your personality preferences:
“If you have a love of technology and are OK with a role that isn't client facing, become a system engineer! These individuals are shaping the future and have such a huge role in helping people,” Kelli says. “If you have a love of technology but are more of a people person, I still recommend getting a technical degree and pursuing project management. This helps you be a part of the change and impact users of the technology. It's a very different job, but it's still incredibly rewarding.”
Kelli points out the many pathways that can lead you into the field: "If a technical degree isn't for you, you can still be in the industry (and thrive!) with a business, communications, health science or any other degree. This could give you an edge as well, because you'll bring a much different perspective to the table. Don't be afraid to apply for a role that doesn't match your degree (as long as you have the minimum educational and skill requirements). If you believe in what the company is doing and have a passion to succeed, you will go far."
Kelli is combining her interest in tech and her passion for health in a rewarding career. Find ways you can explore more opportunities in tech by following #GirlsinTechKC on Twitter and Instagram.