A Day in the Life: Brenna Ryan

I’ve never been one to accept the status quo. As an engineering major, I was expected to go work for [blank] company and become a project engineer for [x] years before getting promoted. As a pre-med student, I was supposed to take the MCAT right away, apply to 30 medical schools, and cross my fingers. Instead, I applied to Orr Fellowship as a way of taking charge of my career, skillset, and life. 

When I learned I’d be a Project Manager at ClearObject I was eager to get started. Working at a small company would allow me to learn more about business and being in the tech space would cater well to my engineering background. I had experience in management positions through my extracurriculars and internships, so I knew I’d be able to quickly hit the ground running come my start date. 

A year later, I am transitioning out of my role as Project Manager after successfully leading five completed projects and three projects still ongoing. I did not hit the ground running back in June of 2018 as I had hoped (it took almost three months for a new project to come my way) so instead I started learning as much as I could about the services my team offered and processes in place. After gaining my first official project, I got to test the waters and build schedules, manage conflicts, and resolve minor billing issues.  I was introduced to the world of Agile project management and exposed to the impressive work of our company’s new product owner and all the Scrum methods he employed. By my third project, I was feeling comfortable in my role and started looking at our team’s reporting capabilities, or lack thereof, and began doing work in data collection and analysis of simple things such as team velocity, work effort, and cost of goods sold.  

Thinking back to Orr’s mission statement I realized I was starting to plateau in my education on business, so I requested to be placed in a more product-oriented role.  This would allow me to work on business plans, conduct market research, and work with the marketing and finance teams, to gain greater exposure to the overall business.  My request was granted, and I’ve just begun to take steps into this brand-new area. I feel utterly lost every time I walk into the office and I both fear and love the challenge. Although the work I’m doing is no longer comfortable, I’m learning so much more day-to-day. 

My plan is to utilize the skills and knowledge I gain from ClearObject to open my own women’s clinic. Medical school teaches the fundamentals for treating human life, but Orr Fellowship and my company teaches business acumen, entrepreneurship, networking, and all other skills needed to run a successful business. By not accepting the status quo as a doctor or an engineer, I’ll be able to start building the foundations for my own practice and subsequently help the women who seek my guidance in the way I see fit.