Laura Conroy tells us about her past experience and why she joined Qatalyst Research Group.
Jacob: Welcome to the Qatalyst team Laura. We are excited to have you. First off, can you talk about your background and experience prior to joining Qatalyst?
Laura: I began my career over ten years ago in the health research sector and transitioned into consulting with a specialization in program evaluation. These experiences allowed me to gain valuable hands-on experience working with a wide variety of clients in both the private and public sectors. I assisted in providing strategic advice, planning services as well as supporting organizations with their performance management needs. This has been my main focus in recent years.
J: Why did you decide to join Qatalyst?
L: I was drawn to the fact that Qatalyst is a leading-edge firm with a unique approach to consulting. Through the development of an online platform of associates, Qatalyst continues to leverage its external partnerships, in-house expertise and a large network of associates to form teams tailored to each client and individual engagement. Qatalyst has a long operating history and a very knowledgeable staff which I am excited to be a part of.
J: What is evaluation and performance measurement and who would benefit from these services?
L: Performance Measurement is the continuous monitoring, collection and reporting of information to determine how well an initiative is progressing towards a desired result. Evaluation is an approach and overall assessment of programs, policies and services to help draw conclusions and measure the impacts of outcomes. Both evaluations and performance measurement support organizations in making informed decisions, building knowledge and gaining key insights regarding their services and/or product offerings. Organizations who want to remain accountable to their clients, stakeholders and shareholders as well as gain a solid understanding of the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of their programs and services should consider completing a program evaluation and implementing a performance measurement system.
J: What drew you to performance measurement and evaluation?
L: My experience working alongside key professionals in the field early on in my career both through work and volunteering inspired my enthusiasm to further advance my skills and knowledge in these areas. I quickly realized the importance of effectively measuring and demonstrating impact, identifying issues or gaps, and making a positive change for any organization, public or private. Also, my graduate work further helped me specialize and develop my interest in the field.
J: Outside of work, what are your favourite things to do?
L: I love being outdoors (hiking, biking, running, site seeing), spending time with family and friends, trying new local restaurants and venues to name a few.
J: What is the best career advice you've been given?
L: To keep it short: learning from mistakes is more important than not making them. Also, always take your lunch break.