jessica melville

jessica melville
MEET Karen McDonagh Reynolds

Cloud Programme Director

karen reynolds

Team Corporate IT

Segment Cloud enablement team

Location Ipswich, UK (but I travel loads)

Year hired 2018

University Birmingham City University, Industrial Information Technology

Personal skills or interests

I am passionate about my family, love to cook and also grow chillies!

Can you tell us about the day-to-day responsibilities of your job?

I am part of the team responsible for the global delivery of Willis Towers Watson’s cloud programme. This involves everything from working with segments to help them deliver their plans, to tracking all deliverables, financials, risks, etc. and bringing together the right people to help drive our ambitious agenda forward.

What are the key challenges of your role? How have you overcome them?

A key challenge is getting people to see the new opportunities that are available to us as an organisation with new cloud technologies. I’ve learned that by taking the time to talk to and educate people, they will see that we are willing to evolve as an organisation and take on new ideas.

What is your proudest achievement since joining Willis Towers Watson?

Bringing the first apprentice into IT and watching him grow in the role and become part of the team was awesome.
I also am very proud to be part of Willis Towers Watson’s work to transform IT through Inclusion and Diversity (I&D). It’s important to reach out internally and externally to find and encourage candidates through our own personal networks and LinkedIn in order to cultivate a large pool of diverse talent to bring to IT.
More and more people want to work in an organisation that cares about its employees and empowers you to bring your whole self into the office. I enjoy being part of this I&D initiative, which is creating a groundswell – it’s that important and we’re beginning to make inroads. I’m grateful to be supported by senior-level allies. We need to create change together – otherwise it won’t happen.

What do you like best about working at Willis Towers Watson?

The people are the best aspect of working at Willis Towers Watson. This is the best team I’ve ever been part of – professionals at the top of their game who are great fun to work with. Our team is progressive, we take a good look at ourselves and how we need to transform, especially from a diversity viewpoint. We truly walk the I&D talk – this is very important in the tech field.

Was there anything that surprised you about your role or the company?

The scope of the work we do surprised me the most. We are so much more than a consultancy and insurance business. We are involved in so many markets globally and every day I learn something new about the business
Due to our company’s position and reputation I am fortunate to be dealing with state-of-the-art technologies, and work closely with suppliers where we get to provide input into the roadmaps for their tools. Also, I haven’t met anyone who isn’t genuinely nice here.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone considering employment with Willis Towers Watson?

My advice would be to apply, even if you are not able to meet the job requirements 100%. Even if you feel you don’t check every box on the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. Give us the opportunity to have a conversation with you. If you’re not right for the current role, we may want to invite you back to apply for a different role.
When we bring people on board, we want to make sure they’ll be happy here. It only takes one person to throw a team off, so we look for people who fit with our core values. As an example, our team embraces positive disruption as opposed to confrontational challenge – it’s okay to say, I don’t agree – we want to learn from each other, understand what’s working, what’s not and what can be improved.