ADI people: Introducing Paula Croft, European Support Team Manager

This week we’d like to introduce Paula Croft, the Manager of our European Support Team. Paula’s background in cardiovascular research at Kings College, London - where she used both the PowerLab and LabChart - gave her the knowledge to successfully move into a support role at the ADInstruments’ Oxford office.

Together with her team, Paula is lucky enough to travel across Europe running training courses, technical symposia at conferences, and supporting researchers and educators to make the most of our equipment for their specific application. Here Paula talks a little more about the diversity of her role and explains why she chose her personal science heroes.

Tell us a bit about what you do. Tell us a bit about what you do.

I have worked as part of the Support Team at ADInstruments since I joined the European office in 2003. Although my role has changed and evolved over the years it has always involved supporting customers in finding the best set-up for their solution to aiding with data acquisition and analysis. This can be through day-to-day correspondence, on-site training programs or indirectly through training new staff members. I am currently managing a great team of support personnel in Europe and making sure we maintain a high standard of customer service, whilst still getting my hands dirty from time to time!

What’s the best part of your job?

The diversity of the role is the thing that has kept me interested for so long. From the different problems encountered by customers to the different disciplines they work in, every day brings a new set of challenges. It also means I never stop learning.

How did you become interested in life science? Did you always want to work in this field? Was there an ‘aha’ moment?

I have always been interested in Biology and how we work which eventually led to a degree in Pharmacology. Initially I wanted to work in the pharmaceutical industry but took my first job working in Cardiovascular Research at Kings College London - this is where I was first introduced to PowerLab and LabChart (or Chart as it was back then). Having reached a plateau in my research career a set of coincidental events led me to ADInstruments where I still get to utilise my Scientific background, just in a less hands on way. But more a natural progression than an ‘aha’ moment.

Do you have a science/education hero? Who has inspired you?

There are the obvious big names like Einstein, Marie Curie etc., but having worked in research and with researchers for so many years and seeing all the great scientific and medical developments, I take my hat off to all the nameless, faceless scientists who work away in the Labs all day but never quite get the recognition. For me these are the real heroes and it gives me a sense of purpose to be able to help these people where I can.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in this career?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! This is often required to fully understand what is required and to enhance learning in new fields. You also have to have a real love/passion for what you do!

For you, is your work about the journey or the destination? Do you enjoy the process or the outcome most?

You can’t have one without the other though often the outcome will be more satisfying if the journey has been rough. I do enjoy problem solving so I will say overall the process holds the greater appeal.