Employee Spotlight: Sam Barber, People Operations Associate
by Sam Barber, People Ops Associate, Protenus on September 3, 2019
Our mission at Protenus is to advance the science of healthcare by bringing together creative and skilled individuals who are passionate about the security, usability, and applicability of health data. As this information becomes more voluminous, comprehensive, and, as a consequence, more vulnerable, we are building scalable, insightful solutions that address critical issues preventing the efficient, safe, and effective delivery of patient care.
Our team is comprised of a diverse group of people who come together to achieve this shared mission. To give a glimpse into our culture and highlight the diversity of our team, we’ve asked Sam Barber, People Operations Associate, to share more about her experience working at Protenus.
What’s your role at Protenus, and what do you do?
At Protenus, I am a member of the People Operations team as a People Operations Associate. As our current team only has three people, we split up the responsibilities between the three of us. I tend to handle more of employee facing responsibilities – which includes payroll, benefits, internal service desk/knowledge base and HRIS (Human Resources Information System) to name a few.
Recently, I’ve also been working very closely with the Finance team. As we continue to grow, by employee headcount as well as the number of customers, I have been working with the Finance team to ensure that we remain compliant with each new state’s tax requirements.
What did you do before coming to Protenus?
Prior to Protenus I worked at other tech companies including Tenable and Squarespace, mostly within in the payroll and benefits departments. Most of my previous companies have been much larger than Protenus so this is my first time working at a company of this size. I had to learn how to adapt to a smaller team and building systems that might not have already been in place.
What initially attracted you to Protenus?
The thing that initially attracted me to Protenus was the position. I was really looking for a new role that would enable me to have the opportunity for professional growth. When I read the job description it really checked a lot of the boxes, as I could continue to have responsibilities with payroll and benefits but I also would have the opportunity to learn more about what goes into a well developed People Ops team. Also, once I began the interview process it became clear that everyone I spoke to genuinely enjoyed working at Protenus and that was the type of environment I was looking for.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job has to be that each day is different. Since we are still a young company, there are a lot of moving parts which keeps things exciting. One day I could be researching new perks and benefits to increase our overall compensation package and the next I am focused on fixing a random office problem. I’ve also been really fortunate go have Megan Emhoff, (VP, People Ops), as a manager and she really values my opinions so I can see my ideas and thoughts actually come to fruition.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since starting at Protenus?
Being open to ambiguity and change. Protenus is growing rapidly which leads us to continuously updating systems and creating new processes. This fast-paced environment makes things exciting because we are learning so much as a team and organization. With People Ops especially, I can be working on one thing that is a top priority but then the priority shifts the next day and I am onto something new. We have learned as a team that it is important to make thoughtful decisions as one can impact all employees and customers on a much different scale than companies that are 5-10x our size.
How has working at Protenus impacted your career?
Working at Protenus over the past year has been great for my career as I have learned a lot. I’ve had the opportunity to be exposed to and work on projects that I’ve never done before or imagined I’d have the opportunity to be involved with. Learning how to build a brand new office to implementing a new HRIS, are just a few of the new projects that I’ve had the opportunity to work on in the past year that were completely new to me.
What has surprised you the most about working at Protenus?
The culture is the thing that most surprised me about working at Protenus. Employees seem to genuinely enjoy working at the company and spending time together. At my previous employers we had people dedicated to creating a great culture and planning events for all employees, but at Protenus it is very organic. Event planning is very employee-driven at Protenus, as employees will just put time on everyone’s calendar to get together and hang out – from Waffle Wednesday to Happy Hours to Fondue Night.
In 10 words or less, how would you describe the culture at Protenus?
Work hard, but have fun (or as much fun as possible) while doing so.
We are growing! View our Careers page, if you’d like to see current job opportunities at Protenus.