People of Synthace: Lauren Fovargue, PhD – Director of Customer Success
Lauren joined us in June 2017 and has moved around the company as her career has developed within Synthace.
I strongly believe in the product and the vision, but I get out of bed for the people."Lauren Fovargue, PhD Director of Customer Success at Synthace
What is your role?
As Director of Customer Success, I run our client function post-sales. So, when a customer decides to buy, they get handed over to my team for delivery and training.
The fun part of my role is that I interact with every team: product (lab and engineering), sales, finance, ops, marketing, c-suite. I absolutely love the interdisciplinary communication in this role and getting to work with people across the company.
The other joy of my job is my team. They are bright, talented, motivated individuals who are all so different, but function together brilliantly. I love the diversity of our team and the squad that has formed between us.
Customer Success is bigger than just support, and thanks to them, we really know how to deliver.
Where were you before joining?
I did a PhD and five years of postdoc at two different universities.
I was always in interdisciplinary STEM and loved that space. For example, the last postdoc was in biomedical engineering, bringing together computational modelling, medical imaging, and clinical cardiology.
Why did you want to join Synthace?
I had four criteria and Synthace hit all of them:
I wanted to work in a place that had both science and engineering
I also wanted to work at a small-medium company, where I could have a larger impact and more diverse and creative job roles
I wanted to work somewhere with real leadership (e.g. no 25-year-old brilliant CEOs please)
I wanted to be in London
Think about the expectations you had before you joined. Is life and work at Synthace in line with how you thought it would be?
It was definitely a transition from academia. I expected to work hard, and that happened. I expected good leadership, and that happened. I expected to work with smart people who cared about what we were doing, and that happened.
However, I had no idea about the realities of a small company and scaling, so those caught me completely off guard and have made it a very crazy and mostly enjoyable ride.
Have you held other roles during your time with the company?
Yes, I was a software developer for about 10 months before moving into the Commercial team.
Do you agree that it's possible to move around within the company?
Yes, but I don't believe it has looked like it would in most organisations.
There hasn’t really been a ladder to climb, more a ladder you stand on while the ground moves further away. This is changing as we grow, though, and as we become more structured and better organised.
I think there's been a lot of movement of individuals around the company and I still believe the small company ethos of being flexible enough to let people’s roles evolve.
How much do you agree with the following statement:
"I can clearly see how my work has an impact"
Yes, I agree. I've been here a long time and sometimes it doesn't seem that way on a day to day basis as you can get swept up, but looking at the bigger picture everything starts coming together.
Mainly, I’m proud of the relationships I've built with people, and the way the work I've done has directly contributed. It’s incredibly humbling to look back on. I may have helped build the company, but I couldn’t be more grateful that in reality, Synthace built me.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
My relationships with my team, boss, and others throughout the company. I strongly believe in the product and the vision, but I get out of bed for the people.
What do you think of Synthace’s efforts to create an inclusive and diverse team, and a supportive environment that encourages opportunities for women in STEM? Is there anything we’re doing well?
Yes, I think the female leadership of various teams across the company has been positive.
I also think the male leaders we have clearly respect and empower the women in their own lives, and it is directly reflected back to their colleagues and those under them.
In my experience, we treat each other in a fair and balanced way, both from the perspective of empowerment but also holding people accountable. No one wants to be pandered just to keep up female numbers.
What do you enjoy most about #SynthaceLife
(outside of your actual job)?
That we try hard but give each other grace when we fall short.
The nature of our work means that we are always pushing boundaries, so we can’t be afraid to fail and we try not to fail the same way twice. It's an ambitious company which is fun and challenging, but there’s a support level that's important too.
When it comes to events and activities, I’ve enjoyed the company breakfasts and lunches, as well as the coffee-roulette chats (when we get randomly paired up with someone else from anywhere across the whole company and arrange to have a coffee together to find out more about each other).
How do you think working here is different to other companies?
It's hard to say, I was only in academia. But from what I've seen, it's more intense work but also more valued employees.
How would you describe the people and culture at Synthace?
Really smart people who care about what we do and each other!
What advice would you give to someone if they were looking to apply to your team? What traits and/or skills are important?
I'd say technical skills are great but interpersonal skills trump all matters. If someone can't function as a team player, it really doesn't matter how technically skilled they are.
Also, the ability to communicate and give and receive feedback is really important. We’re always learning from our mistakes and from each other.
Would you recommend Synthace to anyone considering working here?
Definitely! It's intense, sometimes completely chaotic, but so much fun. You'll never be bored!
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