‘I love how we bring a human aspect to everything we do.’ A spotlight on Ashleigh Mingay
Later this year it’ll be a big fifth anniversary for Ashleigh, who joined us as an administrator in December 2017. She’s seen many developments at aae since that time, with staff changes and pandemic lockdowns causing her to evolve professionally and fully embrace her recent promotion to Operations Co-ordinator.
Ashleigh gets involved with pretty much every aspect of what we do here, from sales to logistics and administration. We found a few minutes within her busy schedule to learn more about her role and her personal progression at aae technologies.
How would you describe your role at aae technologies?
Very varied – which is nice! Often I won’t know exactly what I’m doing day-to-day, so I’m basically all over the place, getting involved where I need to and making things happen. But I actually really like that. On any day, I could be doing anything from accounts to sales, repairs, freight and more.
In our office, you have to know a bit about everything, because if anyone’s absent we need to cover for it. You get to learn a great deal about the business in general and understand more areas than just your own. That’s why I like it, because you’re constantly having to think about how to get around certain problems and find solutions fairly quickly. That’s what I enjoy most.
What brought you to joining the company?
I was in a job where they pushed me towards a certain role that didn’t suit my skills, and I realised my true interest and talents were in administration. When the admin role came up here, I saw from the beginning it would be quite varied and I’d be involved with a bit of everything, so I jumped at it. Admin is my area, really, where I work best.
Did you have an interest in subsea technology?
To be honest, I didn’t know a lot about it as I was younger then! It sounded interesting to me, but it’s not something you understand that much until you actually start and get into it. And then you get to know how all the products we make work, and the interesting applications they’re used for. Obviously, I don’t have a technical background, but I find it all very fascinating and love learning as much as I can.
How has your career progressed since you joined?
I joined as an office administrator, but it was getting busy at the time and they needed someone who could cover other areas and switch between accounts, admin and sales. So it’s always been varied since I started.
Since that time, it’s continued to get busier and when one or two people left that gave me the opportunity to progress, take more control and at the same time learn more about the company and the products.
So my role scaled up due to those departures and the pandemic. It was just me and my colleague Pam taking care of all the administration and switching between those roles. We look back on that and think, wow, how did we do that? We were working from home, a person down and on the phone to each other all day. For me, that was the turning point for the progression of my career, I had to step up into the role.
It feels like it happened quite naturally, because I work well with Pam. It was easy to work out what we each needed to do each day to get things done in a very organised way, and I hadn’t realised I had that in me up til that point. So I’ve learnt quite a lot about myself doing this – I’m much more confident and comfortable in the role. It helped me to push myself, which was a great thing to happen.
What’s been your biggest highlight?
I think coming back into the office after the lockdowns and everyone being here again. One of my things is being part of a team, and working from home and just being on the phone isn’t the same as actually seeing them. I think the team has grown and become stronger off the back of that experience and coming back into the office again.
When everyone was at home, you had to keep on communicating – picking up the phone instead of just popping over to speak to somebody. So I think a lot of people learned that communication is key and it’s forced people to become a bit closer, to be positive about asking questions and so on.
And, obviously, the promotion to Operations Co-ordinator – that was lovely!
What’s been your biggest challenge?
I think when we were a person short during lockdowns, it was a massive shift. The vacant role was in sales, so I had to quickly learn how to do that job thoroughly and change my whole way of thinking for the role, while also working from home and getting through my existing day-to-day work. That was challenging, but then it was also rewarding and is paying off for me now in terms of my current job.
“We’re really good internally at saying, this is urgent. Let’s turn it around and get it out of the door.”
What do you love most about the job?
I do love coming into work and being with my team. The atmosphere here is so genuine, and you do care about each other. I love the work, I like a challenge, and I like how every day is different and there are constantly things we’re trying to find out. But if you’ve got a team that you’re comfortable with, that’s the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning.
What do clients love most about what you do?
I think people like the more personal approach in our office. We’ve built great relationships with our clients and they have a sense that they know they’re going to get our attention on their issue. They know they can rely on us and they’re not going to have to wait for ages for an answer. As we’re all a closely-knit team under one roof, we can respond fast.
We’re really good at turning things around very quickly. A customer might call saying they’re in urgent need of a part, or a system, can we dispatch it today so they get it tomorrow? And we’ll be able to say we can. We’re really good internally at saying, ‘This is urgent. Let’s turn it around and get it out of the door.’
What makes aae technologies unique?
I think we’ve just got a completely different approach to everybody else. It sounds silly, but we’re genuine, nice people, and the website reflects exactly who we are.
Sometimes, you’ll see a website and wonder if it’s all 100% true, but I believe we are what we say we are. Our personal enthusiasm comes through, in a human kind of way. And it’s also true internally – people here won’t talk to you like you’re supposed to know what something is, and if it’s quite technical they’ll always find a way to explain it in human terms that make sense. I’ve never felt uncomfortable about asking questions about how things work. If you really want to know about something, everyone will have the time to help you understand, which helps me to learn and in the end do a better job.
What are you excited about for the future?
I feel like we’ve already come so far and seen so much positive change in terms of our marketing, the website and the show stand. It feels like we’re constantly elevating ourselves and rising up. So I’m excited to see what else we can do.
If you look at the difference the last few years have made to our brand, it’s exciting to think what more we can do over the next few years!
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