Meet the team: Rachel Brennesholtz

Job title: Researcher Community Manager

Intro

I’m originally a New Yorker, but I’ve been living in Amsterdam for almost 4 years.  It’s a great city for me since I’m a pretty devoted cyclist.

When did you join Mendeley?

I’ve been with Elsevier since 2015, but started working with Mendeley in June 2018. Before taking over the Researcher Communities, I was running marketing for Pure and some of the funder solutions.

What do you love most about your job?

Definitely the Advisors.  I love seeing just how many people in different parts of the world are using Mendeley and hearing about all the ways you love it.

What book did you most recently read?

Whatever I picked up at the little free library in my neighborhood. My Dutch reading level isn’t great, so I read whatever I can find in English. I also read The Economist and National Geographic- not books, but still great reading.

What’s one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

I’ve got two things (which might be cheating)…

  • Mendeley is so much more than a reference manager. The groups functionality is amazing and I would tell everyone to play around with Mendeley Data.
  • We, the team at Mendeley, love hearing about your research success! When Mendeley lovers send us pictures, we print them and hang them in the office to remind us that there is massive community of devoted users.   (You can send them to us at community@mendeley.com)

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus?

As the Researcher Community Manager, I’m ultimately responsible for the Mendeley Advisors and several other community programs at Elsevier.  I’m running a lot of the things behind the scenes, making sure the Advisor program is growing with you and that we are giving you the best tools.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

Definitely meeting with the Advisors. I’ve had virtual coffees with many of you, and I love when Advisors drop by our office in Amsterdam and London.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

The metro stop by my house has the longest escalator in Benelux!

 

Rachel explains what she loves about Mendeley in her #MyMendeley video

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Find out more about the Mendeley Advisor Community here

Meet the team: Heather Williams

Heather Williams

Job title

Sr. Product Manager for Mendeley Careers

Introduction

I studied as a psychologist and majored in human-technology interaction (human factors). My first job was at the US DOD Human Systems Analyst Centers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Case in Ohio. Later I moved to LexisNexis, inspired by what I heard a couple of my grad school mates were doing there, I wanted to do that too. While I was at LexisNexis I learned of a User-Centered Design Group at Elsevier and I felt interested in creating designs for doctors, nurses and researchers and applied to move. I interviewed nine times and even created a prototype to get a position there, which worked. While at Elsevier, I got the opportunity to work in nearly each business unit in the company, and I’ve interviewed hundreds of our users in multiple fields and disciplines in health, science, technology and engineering.

After thirteen years, I relocated to Amsterdam from New York, still doing user understanding and design, but I moved in to an R&D group. While in this group I switched careers and moved into product management. I was now working with other designers and other disciplines. During this period, I got involved with a concept that developed into a full product launch – Mendeley Careers. I stayed with it. That launch moved me officially to Mendeley. Nearly nineteen years later, I still love working in this company.

But I also enjoy other fun stuff – making new memories with my family and friends over food and/or travel. I learned to enjoy running. I love to go to gigs. I like to ski when I can get to snow & altitude. I laugh easily and really like experiencing good design in all its forms.

When did you join Mendeley?

1 December 2016

What do you love most about your job?

I love all of it the most. I literally believe in the power of human connection to the users I serve and their connection to improvement of society and our planet.

What book did you most recently read?

The Platform Revolution. It was really good, but I should find something else to read next.

What’s one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

We believe in you. That might sound a bit cheesy, but helping others make improvements, increasing knowledge, is what motivates me so much about my role here at Mendeley.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus?

I help researchers make better connections between their work and others. Hopefully it increases their chances for better collaboration and other research opportunities to help them move their work forward.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

The problems we help solve.

What keeps you awake at night?

I sleep really well. Solutions to complicated problems often get resolved in my dreams. So I like my sleep ☺

Meet the team: Lawrence Hall

Name: Lawrence Hall

Job Title: Product Manager

Intro 

After completing a degree in English Literature I took the seemingly logical step to become a book editor. However, I soon realised that, while I loved reading literature, I was far more drawn to the products that were being created in the publisher’s digital department.

Eight years later and here I am! Most recently I worked as a Product Manager for a music publisher, where I lead a team to create a digital music learning platform – think Guitar Hero but for real instruments. In my spare time, I attempt to play guitar in a rock band and support Arsenal FC (and invariably feel disappointment with their current form/team selection).

When did you join Mendeley?

November 2018

What do you love most about your job?

I love the varied nature of my job, from conducting user research and testing, to working with the design team on new features. It demands a wide range of knowledge but is never dull! It’s also fantastic to work day to day with a diverse and talented team.

What book did you recently read?

I just finished The Master and Margarita, it’s about the devil appearing in Russia in the 1930s – hilarity ensues. Work related, I just read Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus?

It’s my job to understand the main issues that researchers and academics face, then work with a team to solve them. Making sure that we solve the right problems and unifying the team behind a clear vision are key aspects of my role. If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to simply build a product that you and your team feel is useful, but doesn’t really solve your users’ key problems.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

When I hear from users that I have helped to solve a problem that they had. I have only recently started, but I can see the great challenge ahead with the product and I am excited to talk with users to really understand their issues. It’s great how connected we are with our users at Mendeley, be it the weekly user sessions held by our talented UX team, or the invaluable feedback we get from our Mendeley Advisors.

What keeps you awake at night?

My Nintendo Switch. Portable Zelda is a dangerous thing.

What’s the most interesting thing you learned this week?

That motion sickness may be your body’s automatic response to a perceived poisoning. I guess we haven’t evolved yet to deal with the disconnect of moving at 70mph while sitting still.

Meet the Team

Name: Sally Ransom

Job title: Mendeley Marketing Manager

Intro

Having studied English Language and Literature, I have marketed academic/educational products and solutions for over 11 years – starting in academic textbook publishing, enjoying a brief stint in music education, and now here, at Mendeley. London born, but West Country bred, I’ve been back living in London for 12 years now.

When did you join Mendeley?

At the end of October 2018 (so still legitimately, I think, able to claim the “new person” label).

What do you love most about your job?

Working with people who are passionate about their job of supporting people who are passionate about their job.

What book did you most recently read?

Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady. I’m currently on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Lined up is Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, having just found out it’s next up to receive the Andrew Davies treatment (and at nearly 1,500 pages, I’d better get cracking…).

What’s one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

How dedicated we all are to providing researchers with the very best tools and solutions to support them in their work, and that, to do so, we’re constantly seeking and listening to their feedback and developing our products accordingly.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus?

I’d have probably played it safer with chat about the weather, but if pushed – that I market products that support researchers in doing their research. If further pushed, I’d move seats.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

Getting to work on products that I honestly believe can provide real benefit to the user (which also makes the job of marketing them that much easier!). It’s great to work on something that is so loved by current users, too – the enthusiasm of our Mendeley Advisor Community, in particular, buoys me every day.

What keeps you awake at night?

The noises made by the mouse that seems to have taken up residence in my bedroom wall cavity.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

That a sloth’s fur is covered in algae, contributing to their green-tinged appearance (and my hatred of them).

 

Meet the Team- Sahil Sennik

Name: Sahil Sennik

Job title: L2 Service desk specialist

sahilIntro bio: The best way to describe myself would be pretty nerdy.  I enjoy playing around with technology, whether it be consistently specing my PC or making my home as smart as possible with sensors triggering coloured light bulbs to turn my room into a disco or EDM night club!  In my opinion, there’s nothing better to come home to.  Aside from that, I am a huge football fan and support Arsenal.  Come on you gunners!

 

When did you join Mendeley?  I joined Mendeley October 2016

What do you love most about your job? I really enjoy being a liaison between our customers and developers.  The way I see it, it’s a two-way street – on one hand, getting those really annoying or experience damaging bugs fixed and seeing our users enjoy the product and seamlessly use it is always a win.  On the other hand, delivering positive feedback and constructive criticism to our developers always helps us learn and grow stronger.  Being a part of that is invaluable.

What book did you most recently read? Cat and Mouse by James Patterson.  My favourite of the Alex Cross series so far!

What’s one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?  I don’t just see Mendeley as a reference management software.  It is an extremely powerful collaboration tool too.  As someone who may just want to meet people in the Scientific/research community, publish their work, or be part of a group where you can share ideas, Mendeley caters to that extremely well.  In summary, think of Mendeleyans as one huge family, where you can meet so many like-minded people and be a part of such a great community.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus? Quite simply put – My job is to ensure your issues are mine.  You have a problem with the product I represent and I will do whatever I can to get it fixed, even if it takes days weeks or months.  It may be technical or something as simple as a spelling mistake.  If it bugs you, it bugs me, and therefore, it will bug our developers!

What’s the most exciting part of your job? It may seem quite trivial, but I’d have to say my weekly team meetings.  This is a meeting all about us and how we can help each other help our customers as effectively as possible.  The brainstorming and discussions held during the meetings really motivate me to start working on ideas as soon as possible.  Seeing them succeed and witnessing the positive outcomes really keeps me driven.

What keeps you awake at night? Cliffhangers from my favourite shows.  Why must we suffer this way!

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?  I recently helped one of my closest friends find a job after almost three months without one.  The whole experience really showed me how even the slightest intervention in a person’s life can mean the world to them.

 

Meet the Team: Matt Stratford

Name: Matt Stratfordmatt

Job title: Senior Product Manager

Intro bio

I’ve had rather a lot of jobs, from teacher to barista to salesperson to conference organizer. I found a way into technology and that led to consulting and from there I was able to make a start in product management.

When did you join Mendeley?

I worked on account for Mendeley from May 2015, but I liked it so much I joined as a full-time employee in September 2016.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that product management is so wide-ranging in terms of what it demands you know about.

What book did you most recently read?

Usually, I have a small handful on the go at any one time. At the moment I’m on a user experience design kick. I finished UX for Lean Startups by Laura Klein last week and I’m part-way through Sprint by Jake Knapp. Away from work, I’ve just started The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses by Jesse Schell and I can tell already it’s going to be excellent.

What’s one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?

I read all the feedback you send through the feedback widget on Mendeley Feed, even if I can’t respond to everything individually.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus?

I work as part of a team which makes tools to help academic researchers discover and access information. My job is to identify problems that researchers have and to set the direction and priorities for the solution. But the thing about product management is that actually it involves a bit of everything. I talk regularly with customers and users, conduct user research, write software acceptance tests, evaluate web analytics, help out with interaction design, contribute to technology choices, support marketing campaigns, establish operations requirements, conduct analysis for business strategy… the list goes on! And the only way I can possibly do all this is to be super-organised and super-flexible and to invest lots of time in making day-to-day team processes work really effectively. It certainly keeps me busy!

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

I’m a pretty excitable person so there’s usually something most days that gives me some energy. But the most satisfying part of the job is when you hear first hand from someone that you’ve made their lives better by solving a problem they had. That feels worthwhile.

What keeps you awake at night?

Work doesn’t keep me up at night. I compartmentalize pretty well.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

I learned that depending on how market demand is structured, it is theoretically possible that copyright holders profit from some levels of piracy. For instance, the existence of pirate copies of Microsoft Word helped it to become a de facto standard, which created more demand for legitimate purchases.

 

 

 

Meet the Team: Adrian Raudaschl

Name: Adrian Raudaschl

Job title: Product Manager

adrian

Intro bio (background): I originally trained and worked as a doctor in the NHS before transitioning into a product role for a medical start-up. My love of solving hard problems in the world of medicine and academia led me to my current role at Elsevier.

When did you join Mendeley? I joined in August 2017

What do you love most about your job? The opportunity to work with smart and talented individuals from a range of background on valuable problems in academia.

What book did you most recently read? Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

What’s the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley? Many people at Mendeley come from or are connected with people from academic backgrounds. We care deeply about the work we do here, and really want to help make things better in academia. This is not only limited to reference management, but also helping people find a job, build their professional network, discuss the latest research and store research data easily and securely. It is all part of a bigger picture of trying to make researcher lives better.

How would you explain your job to a stranger on a bus? I try to understand what the biggest pain points people are experiencing and build things to make their lives better. After defining what is important, it is about working with a team of engineers and designers to build out something which aims to solve the problems you have identified in the simplest way possible. If it works you iterate and make the solution better, if not we go back the drawing board and question our assumptions.

What’s the most exciting part of your job? Getting to meet and speak with academics about their profession and understanding their problems is a great part of my job. I also enjoy the challenge of taking a bunch of ideas and trying to work with my team on how best to apply our knowledge and resources to solve these problems. When it works well its incredibly satisfying.

What keeps you awake at night? Questioning myself that we are working on the most valuable problems for our users.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week? That we may be able to prevent cavities by colonising a genetically engineered variant of Streptococcus mutans. Interesting paper (https://www.mendeley.com/papers/modification-effector-strain-replacement-therapy-dental-caries-enable-clinical-safety-trials/).