What traits do you look for in a coworker, friend, employee? At SingleStone, we value attitude and aptitude in our team members above all else. Below, you’ll get to know a little bit more about a person who exhibits those traits we strive for—who brings passion, curiosity, and courage to every project she’s on.
Meet Mary Bowen Artus, Senior Business Analyst
How did you get your start in tech and consulting?
I studied business at UVA. In my program, we worked on teams to solve complex business problems. For example, I spent one semester learning everything there is to know about Rolls Royce jet plane engines and the market for gasoline. This collaborative, case-study framework translated very well to consulting. But most of my skills have come from on-the-job learning combined with an eager attitude and an innate curiosity for learning and problem-solving.
Let’s talk about that a little bit, how do you excel in solving problems?
Asking questions is my superpower. I have a strong intuition when it comes to which questions should be googled vs. which questions should be posed to a group to discuss and confirm alignment. You’d be surprised how often there isn’t alignment. People apply different assumptions or lenses to the question at hand while assuming everybody else is using the same lens. The first step to solve a problem is really understanding what the problem is.
What project or accomplishment from your career stands out?
Well, I met my husband on my very first project at SingleStone. We now have an 11-month-old daughter. So that project stands out! 😂 We were trailblazers for an HR policy on office romance. #funtimes
As for a work-related accomplishment, I’m proud of my results from a 360 assessment I had last year. I scored very high in courage and caring. The reviewer said it is rare to see those two strengths coupled together. Sometimes caring/kindness inhibits courage, and sometimes courage/being assertive can steamroll caring/kindness. Finding out that my peers see me that way has been such an honor.
Courage and caring, those are definitely two admirable traits. What advice do you have for those who sometimes lack the courage to speak up?
If you’re nervous to speak up, start by finding small ways to do so – in a laidback work setting, with just 1 or 2 peers, etc. If you hear the voice in your head saying something like, “have you considered this option OR what about this approach….nevermind, I’ll just let it be,” challenge yourself once a week to not just let it be, to speak up instead. Then challenge yourself daily. Continue to increase the frequency until you feel like you are heard and your perspectives are contributing in the way you hoped. Also, check where your desire to speak up is coming from. If it is coming from a place of genuine care and concern, that is a beautiful thing. The world needs more of that.
There is a lot of pressure on women to be a certain way. Speak loudly, but be polite. Don’t say sorry. Watch your tone. Lean in. Smile. It’s too much. My best friend (and coworker) Stephanie Northern pointed me to one of the best articles I’ve read. The bottom line is that women should feel empowered to communicate in whatever way is comfortable for them. All of this external scrutiny needs to stop.
What about tips for someone just getting started in their career?
Regardless of what field you are interested in pursuing, master the art of follow-through and accountability. If you say you are going to do something—whether it is to the CEO or to an intern—then do it. I use tasks and my calendar all the time to ensure I follow through on my commitments.
It’s easy to talk the talk, but walking the walk is what actually matters. The crazy thing is that it doesn’t take any real amount of expertise to do this, yet many people struggle with it.
What coding language or tool has been your favorite and why?
Easy. Jordan Bachmann… he’s BRILLIANT and can help you with just about anything tech-related. And I love Slack, especially using gifs and emojis. 🙌💯😬
What do you love about SingleStone?
It’s a great environment for self-starters and proactive people. If you care about something, you can pursue it. The hierarchy does not matter—you will be supported and empowered to achieve. Also, SingleStone creates a safe environment to voice your opinion without fearing retribution. As somebody who struggles to censor what comes out of my mouth, that is invaluable.