It took a trip to Canada, but Danielle Bancroft MPS went from community pharmacist to Product Manager and User Experience (UX) Designer at Fred IT Group. We spoke to the self-described ‘tech ninja’ about her unconventional career pathway.
You hold a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science and a Masters of Pharmacy. How did you end up in the tech world?
After university I was working as a locum pharmacist and my brother and I were discussing moving to Canada. So I did the qualification exam to work there as a pharmacist, but then I was short on money. I thought I’d get some extra cash working part time and saw an advertisement for a software company support team role for people with healthcare industry experience. During the interview they put a piece of XML (a computer and website coding language) in front of me. I had never studied technology but I noticed the pattern looked like a prescription. That got me the role!
On my first day I discovered we were working on a new e-prescriptions program.
At what point did you decide to pursue UX more seriously?
I worked at that software company for three years and then I got a role at FRED, where I worked in the eRx script exchange team as a product specialist. But I wanted to understand more about the software we were building, not just the business side, so I decided to do a diploma of software development. Through that I got to understand more about UX design – where you actually look at how a user interacts with your products – and human-centred design. I really grew a passion for it.
You’ve been at FRED seven years now. What has satisfied you the most?
Being involved in delivering real-time prescription monitoring in Victoria through SafeScript. It’s really satisfying not only to see my workflows in design and production, but also to hear feedback from practitioners and the community that this product actually does save lives.
What’s the most challenging thing you face day-to-day?
The software industry is undergoing continual change and improvement. So the biggest challenge is making sure you’re not only planning for what’s next, but you’re making sure you don’t lose sight of continually evolving and improving current products and customer experience.
What do you wish you’d known earlier in your career?
That you don’t need to have technology knowledge, or be some super computer nerd, to be successful in this industry. As pharmacists, you already have the core soft skills – you analyse on a daily basis, problem solve, you’re constantly looking at outcomes and how to better improve them.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Want to find out more about different career pathways for pharmacists? Contact PSA at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography: Julian Kingma