EPeeps | Emma McAllister | Head of Operations
At EP we are all about our people. This includes our teachers, students, partners and very importantly, our team.
We wanted to start to introduce you to the EPeeps both in the office and out in the field, who make EP such a success. Everyone has a story, everyone has a passion that brings them into EP everyday and that is what makes EP such a wonderful family.
Today, we are kicking off EPeeps with Emma. Emma is a primary school teacher who is passionate about customer service and working with others. She joined us in 2015 as Customer Support Manager and now is the driving force behind our everyday operations, with her team of 23 EPeeps, as Head of Operations. Emma ensures that we continue to provide the best service to all the teachers and students who engage with the platform. She is amazingly passionate, manages to always juggle many hats and really cares about everyone she interacts with.
Hey! I’m Emma and I’m the Head of Operations at EP. I moved over from Scotland nearly 6 years ago with my partner who’s a Kiwi. I was a newly qualified primary teacher in Scotland and had been teaching for 2 and a half years. My original plan when moving to NZ was to get into teaching ASAP, however during the long (8 months!) process to get my degree assessed, I ended up applying for a temporary role at Education Perfect. I started that temporary role 4 and a half years ago as an Enrolment Assistant, then moved on to become the Customer Support Manager, and moved into my current role as the Head of Operations this year.
What a journey it’s been over the last 4.5 years and while I do miss teaching a lot, I’m so thankful for the opportunities that have been provided at EP, the incredible team that I get to work with on a daily basis and the ability to work for a company that’s genuinely making a difference to student learning outcomes and providing real value for teachers.
In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym, hot yoga and reading. I try to fit in at least 6 gym sessions a week and enjoy hot yoga to stretch on Sundays. I’m a big fan of reading non-fiction and have recently finished reading How Google Works by Eric Schmidt. I’d highly recommend checking it out! I also enjoy FaceTiming my friends and family back in Scotland and spending time with my nieces over here in NZ.
Emma’s first trip to Manila to set up the team.
A Day In The Life
I’m an early riser (5am) to fit in a gym session before starting work around 7:30-8am. I start the day with checking emails, my calendar and my to-do list for the day. Once I’m clear on what I need to achieve that day and I’ve prioritised tasks, I’ll jump into what needs to be tackled first. I’m a big fan of Wunderlist for all my to-do’s and I keep myself organised with my Google calendar. I spend a large amount of time with my team (individually and together) each week discussing team goals and progress towards key projects within each area that I oversee.
Most Common Question
This varies from week to week! In my role I work closely with the managers in Support to review data each week to see what common questions are coming through. We use this data to make improvements to our platform or processes, to enable our customers to get answers quicker, or eliminate the need for them to ask the question in the first place. We know that lots of customers want to self-help, therefore we feed our common questions data into informing improvements to our help documentation.
Definitely targeted remediation! Our diagnostic assessments and reporting allow teachers to identify knowledge strengths and development areas, and assign specific lessons to help individuals fill the gaps in their knowledge. This is all identified automatically and at an individual level, enabling teachers to create specific learning plans for each student.
I know I found it challenging to differentiate lessons for every single student in my classes and support students to work at their own pace – EP is a huge help with this challenge. I love that we’re continually developing the platform with a focus on improving student learning outcomes and saving teachers time.
We have an awesome channel on Slack called #magicmoments which is a feed of all the positive comments and feedback coming through from our customers. I love hearing about the impact EP has on students and teachers across the globe and I’m proud of my team when I see positive feedback about our wonderful support and how much teachers appreciate our quick, detailed responses to their queries.
‘Top marks to the team at EP. I’ve now taught Maths on three continents and never seen a better platform. Great content, great presentation, great auto-marking systems. Homework, relief, revision have never been more straightforward. 10/10’.
I love the company’s vision and what we’ve set out to do – improve student learning outcomes. EdTech is such an exciting industry and we’re constantly evolving and learning along the way! There’s so much variety in my role and I work with an incredible team, who are all passionate about Education and want to learn and develop at EP. I wake up each morning excited about my day and as a result the days, weeks and months fly by at EP!
Most recent trip for Emma to Manila and the first trip for Support Managers Dan and Tobin to meet their teams.
Most Excited About…
Hard to choose! We have so many exciting projects that we’re working on at the moment. I’m involved in two major projects: enrolment and onboarding. I’m excited about making this process smoother for teachers and students. I also love the work we’re doing in the events space with EPIC conferences (Education Perfect Innovate & Collaborate) and our Learning and Teaching in the Digital Age groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. I look forward to reading the articles and listening to the podcasts being created by the team each week and I’m always so impressed with their passion and knowledge across different topics.
Advice As a Female Leader in the Business Under 30
– Good communication is key. I’m surrounded by an incredible team and know that to be effective and ensure everyone is on the same page, we need to communicate well. I catch up with my team individually and together as a group weekly which enables us to connect face to face, set targets for the week, discuss progress and identify any roadblocks. Having a clear agenda for each meeting and documenting feedback and next steps keeps our meetings focused and ensures it’s a good use of everyone’s time.
– Be optimistic and try to remain calm and positive when things don’t go as planned. I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and I try to see the positives in any situation.
– Jump at the opportunity to network and learn. This year I’ve started to attend various events in the Dunedin community which has given me the chance to meet some incredibly motivating and inspiring individuals. A highlight this year was the Women You Can Bank On event. I got the chance to listen to Alexia Hilbertidou, Ian Taylor and Chelsea Herbert explore and discuss The Change Revolution and what this means for business, and for Dunedin. I also spent the evening networking with other professionals from different businesses and industries in Dunedin and have kept in touch through LinkedIn. This can be daunting if you don’t know anyone else attending but lots of others will be in the same position and once you start chatting, you’ll realise you have lots to discuss!
I recently finished reading Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell and I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for advice on how to build good relationships, culture, teams and companies.
You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case. — Ken Kesey
Thanks so much for sharing Emma. You can read that Emma is one passionate and talented lady. We are very lucky to have her as part of the EP family.
More EPeeps coming up. We hope you enjoyed reading a little more about the people behind the EP platform.