Shampa Kumar is Immense’s Delivery Manager, and a DIY enthusiast!
Tell us a bit about what you do at Immense?
I am the delivery manager at Immense. I joined Immense as scrum master initially and now take care of delivery for the development team. Day to day my main role is to remove blockers from the team members whilst also working on the project. All team members come together and discuss what we are working on as well as, what our blockers or concerns are. I support anyone who is stuck with anything so they can continue with their work. I also do the backlog grooming, sprint review and retrospectives for the projects - lots of things! My primary role is to support the team and ensure we deliver.
How did you find out about Immense and become involved in the company?
I was looking for a company around Milton Keynes and a friend mentioned that Immense was looking for people. So, I looked into it and the information that was available made it feel exciting; a new challenge and a new area. Autonomous Vehicles is such a huge new technology, it’s the next big thing, so that really pulled me in. I also felt that the founders were really involved and passionate, not just suits, so that was a really big factor for me.
What is the best part about working at Immense?
It’s unpredictable and something different every day! The best part is the success at the end of a project or a sprint and knowing that I have helped the team members get there. I enjoy seeing team members grow and helping them solve problems. My technical background means I am able to offer help and guidance from my experiences to develop the team’s skills.
What would you say is the most challenging part of the job?
The part that gives me the most enjoyment is also the most challenging. Being a new company, things are always changing and every day is different. We are very good at adapting to change; we have an awesome team, and everyone is always there to help. You never know what is around the corner which is the challenging part, but it also makes it very exciting!
What advice would you give to young girls and women who are looking to get into the STEM careers?
I would say to all the girls, including my own daughter, you can do whatever you want to do, step up and work for it, pick up challenges and do it! If you don’t go for it, you will always wonder. I sent my daughter the video about Katie Bouman, the lady who came up with the algorithm which enabled us to get the first ever photos of a black hole! She is a good example of how you can do anything if you put your mind to it and work hard enough for it.
What’s been your biggest career achievement so far?
I think I would have to say getting my first job after I moved to England from India. My husband and I made the decision to move over with our daughter who was about 18 months old at the time. I flew over first to try and find a job. I was on my own, in a new country and I was missing my family. It was a huge change for me. I had to start from the bottom again, but I didn’t let that stop me. Straight away I began looking and applying for jobs. After a couple of days, I had an interview and within 8 days I was offered a job. My family flew over a few weeks later and we have never looked back.
What did you want to do when you were younger?
When I was younger, I loved athletics. I was the best in my school at running and I loved to compete. So, I always wanted to do that and win an Olympic medal!
It was difficult in India, there was not a lot of support, especially for women. I tried to join the athletics club at university but as I was the only girl who wanted to compete.
I was told that it would be too difficult and too expensive for them to organise everything for just one girl, so I could not take part. And that was that, no Olympic medal and national anthem playing!
When you’re not working what are your hobbies and interests?
I love DIY and anything that needs fixing! I have my own tool box and I do all of the DIY around the house. Recently our refrigerator was not working, and my husband wanted us to throw it out and get a new one. But I took it apart, worked out what was broken, ordered a replacement part and got it working again in no time. The sheer joy of saying ‘it works!’
Sometimes I look forward to what will break next, just so I can fix it!
If you were stuck on desert island and could take three things with you what would they be?
Can I take my family? I would take my family and a toolbox, that way I could make anything I needed to and fix things!
And for a third?
I don’t think I would need anything else, just those two and I would be happy.
You can find out more about Immense and our other team members here.