EPeeps Piers Furney | Product Manager – People and Integrations

A man of many talents, EP’s own Piers can seamlessly flit between project planning on a MOSCOW board to chats about prog rock music to skillfully navigating Adobe Illustrator. More on Piers, in his own words, below…

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in Melbourne to Kiwi parents, where I was the star of the show for three glorious years before my little brother came along, and we then moved to Christchurch. I spent most of my childhood growing up in the Canterbury and Otago regions of New Zealand, with a passion for books, drawing, and design. After finishing high school, I moved up to Wellington to study Architecture, but after a couple of years I found I wanted to do something else – enter Psychology. I went back down south to Otago University and did my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, followed by a DipGrad in English Literature and then my Master of Science in Psychology. My thesis was in information processing and memory recall in online presentations, which just so happened to be the perfect lead in to join EP. In my fleeting spare time outside of work, I’m a freelance graphic designer and artist, electric guitar player, and console gamer.

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

Driven, laid-back, and friendly.

Why become an EPeep?

While at university, I worked in entertainment sales across consumer electronics but I wanted a career in a tech company where I could put my love of learning and education together with the applied psychology background I’d developed. My Masters supervisor knew of Education Perfect and thought that it would be something I could sink my teeth into. I joined the Content team four years ago as a Maths content generator before moving to Science, then taking up the Assistant Head role of Geography, and eventually expanded to cover all of the Humanities. I was the interim Head of Australian Content before I became the Humanities Content Manager as EP restructured the department to better meet the needs of our geographically-diverse user base. I’m now the Product Manager: People and Integrations, responsible for the holistic development and refinement of the product in order to deliver an amazing end-to-end customer experience.

Favourite feature of the platform?

Our complex data and analytics capabilities that provide rich insights across learner journeys. They are such powerful tools for teachers and coaches to use for targeted remediation and timely delivery of feedback.

What book/movie/music/podcast etc has been a big influence on you?

Across my English degree, I was fortunate enough to read some truly amazing books like Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov, White Noise by Don Delillo, and The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. Music is a big part of my life and I’ve always loved Metal and Rock genres, mainly for their cathartic nature and the musicianship. I won’t say no to a splash of R’n’B and 80’s pop, however.

What’s one thing that surprised you when you began working at Education Perfect?

The incredible growth of the company – even within the first couple of months of being at EP.

Where is somewhere you’d like to visit?

Japan! It was on my list for this year pre-pandemic, but it will be the first place I’ll go once it’s possible.

How do you prefer to start your day?

Strong coffee is a must. Scanning through Slack messages, calendar appointments and my inbox is first, before writing out the day’s to-dos.

If you could have been present at a historical event, what would it be?

This is a tough question! The Moon Landing? I don’t think I could describe it better than “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Thanks for your time, Piers!