As part of our ongoing Neueda Life series, we sat down with Senior Data Engineer Nichola Eastwood to find out more about her career journey, maternity leave and what she loves about working at Neueda.

Nichola, where did your Neueda journey begin?

I started at Neueda back in May 2016 bringing my 12 years Business Intelligence and SQL development experience with me. Initially, I joined the Data Team working on client sites to implement Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence reporting solutions. It was a fantastic experience as I was involved in the full life-cycle of projects, from the analysis and design stages, development and testing, right through to implementation and final delivery. I particularly enjoyed building relationships with the clients and working closely with them to help evolve the reporting solutions I was putting in place to meet their business needs.

How did your role develop?
During the later stages of my pregnancy, travelling to client sites become more difficult. Working closely with my manager and HR, I had the opportunity to transfer to a new internal team. This was Managed Services, which, at the time, was very much in its infancy. I got to play a vital role in shaping the team and processes in the early days from the comfort of the Neueda offices in Weavers Court, with the chance to work flexibly around my pregnancy.

Tell us about the Neueda-Baby experience!

Neueda was so supportive and understanding from the moment I announced I was pregnant. I was given clear guidance from Lisa in HR of what to expect, from maternity leave and pay through to my return to work options. I started my maternity leave in July 2017, and Lisa kept in contact while I was off and was on-hand to respond to any questions that I had. When the time came to return to work, I was able to go back on a reduced hours contract and use some of my holiday allowance each week, meaning I could work three days a week until Remy was settled in childcare. I gradually increased this to four days before returning to full-time hours again. This flexibility made the transition back to work much less stressful for both me and Remy.

What was it like returning to your team?

When I came back in July 2018, the Managed Services team had a new manager and many more new team members, but I was welcomed back with open arms and made to feel like there was very much a place for me. I was even given the option to return to the Data Team, so I truly did have complete career autonomy. In the end, I decided Managed Services was still for me, and I’ve since been learning new skills on Amazon Web Services (AWS), exposure to Linux platforms and new development languages such as Python, all while training other members of the team on SQL. On reflection, my transition to the Managed Services team meant that I’ve ended up learning a lot of new skills and working in a team that I absolutely love!

Stay tuned to our Neueda Life blog series to gain an insight into the experiences of our fantastic team.