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Assessment Blog

7th March 2019

Blazing a trail in edtech this International Women’s Day

Picture of Melanie Thomson

Melanie Thomson

There are many inspirational colleagues at RM and we love to shine a light on them. For International Women’s Day I caught up with Deborah Hutt and Sam Jones.

This dynamic duo are making an impact both inside RM and in the international e-assessment arena, but what do they wish they could tell their younger selves?


Tell us a bit about yourself

Deborah: I’ve worked in IT since it was all about green screen terminals and you loaded your games from cassette tape. I remember being shown Windows 2 and thinking it looked rubbish (never take stock tips from me). In my spare time I am an obsessive musician, playing jazz, ska, soul/motown, classical and disco.

Sam: Cassette tapes? I am not admitting I know what they are. Unlike the techie above being in IT, I have been in the business development area for e-marking and e-authoring for 15 years+ specialising in Africa for the past 8 years. In my spare time I love riding my motorbike on the roads or racetrack, I am also an enthusiastic cyclist and love going to food markets for treats and gin.

What is your role at RM?

Deborah: As a Solution Architect, I work with current and prospective customers to design a solution that meets their needs. I support the Business Development team in delivering product demos and can often be found on the RM stand at conferences.

Sam: As a newbie to RM, nearly 2 months in, I will be doing all of what Debs said! Talking to awarding organisations and education bodies at events and customer meetings about how we can help solve their challenges.

What does a typical day involve?

Deborah: That really depends which continent I am on! There’s not really a typical day as such, I may be meeting with prospective customers, responding to bids or looking to improve the way we do business.

Sam: I am learning a lot at the moment about all of the things RM can do for our customers around the world. I don’t think that will be my typical day moving forward, as already I am working on various projects with the Business Development team, so watch this space…

What do you enjoy most about in your role?

Deborah: I love being client-facing. Conferences are demanding, but great fun as you get to meet a wide range of people and it is fascinating to hear about their challenges. I’ve also really enjoyed learning about different assessment systems around the world and the wonderfully varied way that countries examine their students. I’ve travelled to places I never dreamed of going, including Nigeria, Uganda, Georgia and Lesotho to name but a few.

Sam: Client-facing is the best. One of my most memorable experiences was talking with school children in Africa about how using technology can help them to ensure they get fair and trusted results, this really is life changing for them. It brings home how important it is that we continue to provide solutions which improve fairness and validity in education and assessment.

What is the one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Deborah: Take every opportunity that you can. Life is short and you never know where it may lead.

Sam: Get out of your comfort zone and try new things, but don’t fall off your motorbike so much!

What is the last piece of tech you bought?

Deborah: I’m a bit of a Samsung fan, so I bought the fancy new watch. It’s a great piece of kit, but it does nag me every hour to get moving. Right, time for a walk…

Sam: Ahhh, that explains why you keep looking at your watch when I am with you! I bought a fitness watch but I didn’t realise that you have to put it on to get fitter!

To view opportunities to join our vibrant and diverse team at RM, browse our current vacancies.

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