Women of PDX: A Sit Down with Kristin Thomas, Program Manager
Kristin Thomas, Program Manager at PDX, started her career as a pharmacy technician. As her love for pharmacy grew, Kristin knew she wanted to expand her knowledge in the industry and found a new passion in software development. Get to know Kristin as she shares her journey to PDX, advice to young girls interested in STEM, and more.
How did you end up at PDX?
KT: “I began working at Eckerd Pharmacy as a Pharmacy Technician in Training in 2002. I obtained my Pharmacy Technician Certification in 2004. After graduating high school in 2004, I moved and began working at Target Pharmacy. While at Target, I wanted to continue to learn everything there was to know about pharmacy and assisted in several large projects such as pharmacy go-lives, inventory, and audits. I then was promoted to Lead Pharmacy Technician.
In 2008, an opportunity to interview with PDX was brought to me by my mentor at Target and I was happy to join and continue to expand my knowledge in pharmacy.”
What do you enjoy most about working at PDX?
KT: “I appreciate the opportunities that I have been allowed, and that my hard work and dedication to PDX has been recognized. I also appreciate my co-workers who are always positive, supportive, and work as a team to deliver the best product to our customers.”
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
KT: “Working alongside my team is the most rewarding as well as the opportunity to continue to learn and grow. I enjoy tackling the daily mundane challenges and working with others to identify ways to overcome and prevent them. I believe in being a leader who facilitates team members to also be leaders and owners of their products. I know that I can give anyone on my team any task and it will be taken care of in a responsible and timely manner. It is also exciting to get to work on all of the new projects and see them come to life in our application.”
When did you first show an interest in STEM?
KT: “When I joined PDX, I started as a trainer for the PDX Classic system, which I used at Target. I was then given the opportunity to join the PDX Classic QA team. That is really where I started to get into the development side of pharmacy, and I LOVED it! I have been able to work on many different teams here at PDX and enjoyed each one – Design for PDX Classic and Host, Account Management, Product Owner of Central Services, and now a Program Manager.”
What part of STEM do you want to learn more about?
KT: “I want to continue to learn more about the new technology capabilities that are invented every day – resources that allow us to continue to make our applications and services more efficient and robust.”
Do you think diversity and inclusion are important in the workplace? Why?
KT: “YES! I welcome and depend on my team to always voice their opinion when working on projects. I know that everyone has had different life and work experiences prior to being on a team with me and I appreciate and respect the array of knowledge they bring to the table.”
What is your opinion on the low number of women compared to men in computer science careers? Do you think there will be a change in the future?
KT: “There absolutely has already been a change which will continue. Women are now being viewed as equals and listened to. In my role, I never feel like I am less than anyone else. I know that I have the support of my co-workers and leadership who will back me, even if they don’t always agree with me, but they recognize my experience and trust in my ability to take care of things.”
Any advice to the young girls that want to pursue a career in STEM?
KT: “Do whatever you want to do and don’t let anyone tell you “no”. Listen to feedback from everyone and continue to make yourself better, so that there is no question that you are the best candidate for the position you seek. Don’t be afraid to speak up, and always be confident and feel good about what you do or say.”
Read our previous Women of PDX blog post here.