Whether it’s managing big tasks at the office or family functions at home, Project Manager Aline Koch keeps herself busy, but very organized. We spoke with her to learn more about her role and the life she leads outside of the office.
What’s your role at Akili and the most satisfying aspect about it?
I am a Project Manager at Akili, which appeals to me because I love to organize everything. It’s very satisfying to see people adopting something that I had a hand in creating. Our customers’ excitement when embracing whatever it is that we have for them, and running with it, gives me a sense of accomplishment.
How did you become interested in your line of work?
I actually moved into IT during the dot-com craze. I started out as an Oracle DBA and Business Objects developer. I moved on to Data Warehousing and almost any tool that could be associated with ETL or reporting. I enjoyed analyzing, solution development, and basically solving a puzzle. This led me to being a Data Architect, Director of Business Intelligence, and other data-related positions. When I began at Akili, I was a Data Architect and I would PM as needed. As the need for PM’s grew, I moved into my role as a PM. It is just another aspect of problem-solving: How do I accomplish this goal with the resources, budget, and timeline presented? I love what I do.
What’s a memory that stood out to you at Akili?
I remember the first Halloween at Akili after I started. The costumes were very funny, irreverent, intellectually challenging, and elaborate. I remember thinking what a great group of people to hang out with. All of us work hard, but we truly believe in balancing our lives by having fun too.
In your opinion, what makes Akili different?
I believe that Akili is different because of the partnership we offer our clients. Our leadership team truly embraces the concept of partnering with our clients. This is the first company I’ve worked for that will actually turn down a client engagement or go to a simpler, less expensive solution if that is what is right for the clients. This leads to strong loyalty with our clients and per one of our clients, they trust us to choose what is right for them as we will give them the unvarnished truth. We end up with long-term strategic clients because of this.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I’m mostly involved in volunteering for all my kids’ activities. There are only so many years that kids want their parents involved in their lives, so I want to stay as involved as they will let me be. I have 3 teenagers who are all great kids. The older 2 are in Marching Band, which is strangely more intense than football… in Texas …yes, I know that means that it is insane. They went to state on Nov. 8!
My husband and I have to schedule our date nights to make sure we have time alone. We’ve done creative things like a cooking class, dinner clubs with friends, scuba-diving weekend, vacation to Disney World without the kids (I highly recommend this), and lots of other fun weekend getaways.
We have an incredibly large family, which means we have a lot of family events. I have 20 first cousins, and my husband has 12. The photo is just some of my French family that was in town to give you an idea.
What keeps you motivated?
I enjoy the challenge and love walking into new projects. Getting a new project with a new objective is like giving me a favorite piece of candy. I’m a data geek at heart and love to find a way to get the end result accomplished.
Tell us about some of the greatest advice you’ve ever received.
The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.
Essentially, this is what consultants do. We find a way to do what is asked of us, even if it seems impossible.