In our series of ‘meet the team’ interviews, we chat with Samantha-Sophia Felton, Key Client Delivery Manager.
Tell us a little about yourself
I started my digital career when pregnant with my son. As a design graduate, I decided to learn Photoshop and taught myself how to code, before working for eight years as an award-winning freelancer while juggling being a stay-at-home Mum. After moving through various digital agencies and corporate workspaces in the past 13 years, I joined Alliants.
My role involves both stakeholder and project management for large-scale projects for the global Four Seasons estate. I get to help define and deliver first-class software solutions that make the guest experience better, from initial browsing for a trip, through to post-stay.
We constantly innovate to create better solutions and take the onus away from the guest having to do “all the work” by delivering applications that simplify the guest experience. I’m blessed to work with a fantastic team of stakeholders who work with us in a close partnership, and with an extremely talented team of developers and QA testers.
What attracted you to join Alliants?
The work culture is truly something special, and I am surrounded by smart, funny, honest, capable people every day. I couldn’t possibly ask for more than that. I’ve never found another workplace that so truly and honestly just wants you to be yourself, and recognises the capabilities and talents of the staff as much as I see here.
What are some of your passions?
I always consider the “why” of what I do as trying to make things better, more usable, to help people to easily do what they need to do. So UX is always at the forefront of my mind, and why I moved away from design and build into delivery-focused roles. I like to be part of the conversation and to help the client find what will really work for their customers.
Outside of that, I’m obsessed with cooking, power building, and watching Korean dramas.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
I would have to tip my hat to the bad managers I’ve had over the years and the recruiters who ghosted me. I’m someone who is motivated by people underestimating me, so I think in a strange way, that some of the poorest treatment I’ve had shaped who I am today. It also taught me how to manage people well, by seeing what you should absolutely not do.
What is a great day off for you?
A great day off for me is so simple. Good coffee. Time to train. Good food and good company. I’m a huge fan of tasting menus, so I’ll happily spend hours going through an 18-course lunch and enjoying fantastic service. The hospitality sector is close to my heart both personally and professionally, and it’s been sad to see the impact of Covid. It’s great that we have turned the corner and things are starting to get better again.
What’s been your best travel experience?
My latest is at the forefront of my mind, which was Las Vegas in 2019. I think because it was just a couple of months before the initial Covid lockdown, it feels slightly surreal to look back on it now. It seems a lot more than 18 months ago.
We attended our first Vegas wedding with friends from the US which was such a special experience, did a full foodie tour, and even renewed our vows as it was our 20th anniversary too. So much fun and a truly wonderful city.
Your best travel tip?
Drink more water than you think you need to. Always carry snacks. Bring comfy socks and a scarf for the plane.