Employee Spotlight: Shane O’ Sullivan - Product Manager

"I was offered the opportunity to become a Product Manager. Since then, I've been working as a PM for Autonomous Sourcing."


September 11, 2023

Introducing our Employee Spotlight series, where we shine a light on the individuals who make Keelvar a vibrant and innovative workplace. This week, Shane O'Sullivan, tells us about his transition from Content Editor to Product Manager, and the value of remote working while juggling the joys and challenges of parenthood.

How did you get to your current role at Keelvar?

I joined Keelvar in January 2020 as a Content Editor. My initial focus was on building out our Support Portal to improve our self-service documentation and help content; working on early versions of our online learning platform, Keelvarsity; and developing our content design strategy and standards.

However, there were only around 20 of us in Keelvar at the time, and the culture was that everyone jumped in to help in any area they could. Because of that, I got to work with people from all departments, from Professional Services to Marketing to Design to Engineering, on lots of different projects.

I began working more closely with the Product team as a Content Designer while still working with our Customer Success team on technical documentation and video content. I have previously worked in product development and innovation and have always been keen to become more involved in those areas.

As the Product team expanded, I was offered the opportunity to become a Product Manager. Since then, I've been working as a PM for Autonomous Sourcing.

What is the most challenging part of your role?

Keeping everyone happy! Not being able to do all the things we want to do. We spend a lot of time capturing, reviewing, and processing feedback from customers, sales teams, our analysts, and customer success managers, and they provide really important insights and great ideas.

I'd love to be able to work on the many things that we have planned immediately, but prioritization and sequencing are essential parts of the puzzle.

My day in pictures - Shane O' Sullivan

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have twin boys who are 11 months old at the time of writing. I spend most of my free time hanging out with them and my partner, Dee.

We recently bought and renovated a house, so when we have a moment or two, we'll do some painting, cut a hedge, or assemble flatpacks. Myself and Dee. Not the babies. I haven't put them to work yet.

Outside of work, I do all the typical approaching-middle-age activities. I've been getting into cooking over the last few years. Recommended dish: Mongolian Beef.

I love reading and am extremely sick of scrolling on my phone: Recommended book: Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe

I love music and have played in bands for years. I've managed to sneak my guitar amp into our living room to ensure I play whenever I get a chance. Recommended listening: No Spill Blood, Abul Mogard, Satoshi & Makato.

What aspects of yourself do you bring to work?

I think the best outcomes are often the result of effective collaboration. It's the same in music, having a discussion, ideating, or coming up with a solution.

Certain things absolutely call for solo work, but I really enjoy working with people and am one of those "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" people. Most of the time. I've always enjoyed writing, so I tend to articulate my thoughts, opinions, and updates in written format as much as possible, including multiple edits before pressing send or save! This is, of course, very useful in product management, but it is also helpful with the number of people working remotely at Keelvar.

As someone who likes having all their ducks in a row, I always want to ensure that everyone has what they need from a product perspective to do their job. I had a really terrible extended metaphor about ducks written here, but it didn't make the final draft.

"I always want to ensure that everyone has what they need from a product perspective to do their job"

What do you like most about working at Keelvar?

The people. I work with a lot of talented and impressive people, but more importantly, they are sound, interesting, and decent people. I would also say the remote-first working policy. Because of this, I've managed to experience so much of my two boys growing up over the past year and have been able to help out my partner whenever possible. That's been invaluable.

Why not explore the opportunities awaiting you at Keelvar? Visit our careers page and discover how you can become part of our innovative and collaborative team.

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