A recent interview between Rebecca Schankerman, Ambra Health Field Marketing Coordinator, and Anna Schmidt, Ambra Health Senior Customer Success Manager. Anna talks about her previous job in pharma and how it has impacted her time at Ambra, as well as the many changes the Customer Success team has experienced over the past year.
Rebecca: Can you talk about your past experiences and what led you to Ambra?
Anna: Before Ambra, I was a qualitative market researcher working on behalf of big pharma companies – imagine the focusgroup rooms with the double sided-mirrors. If you know me, I love to talk, and so do physicians, so it made sense. In a nutshell, I focused on understanding the market landscape and prescribing behavior of existing/early-to-market oncology treatments on behalf of Pfizer, Eli Lilly, AZ, and Merck. I was traveling all the time, and realized I wanted to have more of a direct impact improving healthcare vs. helping pharma expand market share. Ambra seemed like a perfect fit.
Rebecca: Prior to working at Ambra you worked at a research firm, can you share if that experience has largely impacted your work at Ambra? If so, how has it affected you?
Anna: In my last role, I had to become an “expert” of sorts in various rare health conditions and complex treatments in a matter of days, without going to medical school. Similar to Ambra, we have to become “experts” in the world of DICOM and beyond without [most of us] working in a medical/radiology-based setting. You have to dedicate yourself to what can feel like learning a new language all the time, which makes our work exciting.
Rebecca: What does a typical day look like for you at Ambra? Any exciting tidbits you can share?
Anna: I don’t think I’ve ever had a typical day, but that’s why I love Ambra. Keeping our customers successful means we wear many hats at any given point. Some days are filled with customer calls for steady state accounts and/or deployment, sprinkled with helping customers leverage Ambra for new workflows. Other days I’m expanding gateway networks, putting a sales hat on during prospect gateway installs, running Tableau reports, and beyond. Every day is a new adventure.
Rebecca: If you could describe your job in 3 words, what would they be and why?
Anna: Dynamic – our days, and the platform itself, are constantly changing and you have to adapt; Relationship-driven – retaining and expanding customers requires interpersonal skills; and Impactful – many of us are driven by Ambra’s mission to enable higher quality & more cost effective healthcare.
Rebecca: The Customer Success team changed drastically in the past year. How has it been seeing your team grow and change throughout your time at Ambra?
Anna: It’s been quite a fun journey! When I started it was just Chantel and I because Jake started Operations. They both paved the way for CS to grow and flourish the way it does today. We went from a three-person team covering mostly strategic accounts (and maybe some unhappy customers) to now overseeing the analyst program and more.
Rebecca: With your specific position, was it easy to transfer to a remote work environment when COVID-19 started?
Anna: At first, I thought some colleagues would be tempted to block my number from how many times I called them in the early remote-era. Now, I feel more productive than ever getting on back-to-back calls all day and making jokes about whose audio isn’t working. It’s actually been a very smooth transition given the workload during COVID. I do miss eating Cheez-its in the NYC office in-between calls. Now I just eat them on camera.
Rebecca: The Ambra Health team is currently working remotely. Where are you working from at the moment?
Anna: When COVID hit, I was sharing a studio apartment and left to be with family in Maryland for what I thought would be a few weeks. A few weeks turned into a few months, and before I knew it I was renewing my MD drivers license. As things have begun to re-open, I decided to remain north of the Mason-Dixon line and recently moved back to Brooklyn. I’ve already had a few in-person working sessions with Chantel…truly priceless!
Rebecca: Any final words you would like to add about working for Ambra?
Anna: I’m grateful that Ambra has been so resilient and connected during COVID. Now that there is more light at the end of the tunnel, I’m looking forward to seeing more NYC faces in-person!
Anna brings her passion for public health and customer relationship management to Ambra Heath in her role as a Senior Customer Success Manager. Anna received her MPH from the Boston University School of Public Health and has a BS in Community Health from the University of Maryland. In her spare time, you can find her avidly rooting for all Washington DC sports teams.