Meet Mary Kate Downing: A Story of Skill Transfer & Career Change - Haneke Design

Buzz / 06 27, 2023


Mary Kate joined the Haneke team in February 2022, bringing with her an interesting background and a strong determination to succeed.

Before her introduction into the tech industry, Mary Kate served as a branch manager in a public library. While this role allowed her to connect with the community, the challenges of dealing with the public during the COVID-19 pandemic pushed her to explore other avenues. 

It was then that her husband suggested project management, recognizing that her skills were transferable and adaptable.

“I wanted to find something that played to my strengths and allowed me to use the skills I had already acquired. I’m a very organized person; I pay a lot of attention to detail, and I’m a strong communicator, so I started identifying different positions that would allow me to leverage those skills,” Mary Kate said. 

Ever the diligent learner, Mary Kate wasted no time in upskilling herself. She enrolled in agile project management classes and pursued online courses on platforms like Udemy and Coursera.

After establishing a foundation in project management, Mary Kate began to search for available project management opportunities. It was during her search that she stumbled upon an opening at Haneke Design.

After interviewing with Haneke, Mary Kate became particularly enthusiastic about managing software development projects, as this would allow her to leverage her Master’s in Information Science from the University of South Florida. 

After a few rounds of interviews, Mary Kate was offered a position at Haneke as a software development project manager. As Mary Kate embarked on her new career in the tech industry, she faced the challenge of quickly getting up to speed in an unfamiliar field. 

“Software development can be confusing because there are a lot of complex concepts. I had tons of learning to do, but I was determined to get up to speed quickly,” says Mary Kate. 

One thing she learned early on is that aligning with client expectations is a critical to the success of projects. 

Mary Kate would proactively engage in conversations with clients, not hesitating to arrange calls and involve all necessary stakeholders. By doing so, she was able to address any client concerns and foster open lines of communication, ensuring the success of her projects.

Reflecting on her journey, Mary Kate encourages others to recognize their transferable skills, even if they may initially seem unrelated to their desired career paths. Through reframing her experiences, she discovered the value of her diverse skill set.

Mary Kate also advises aspiring professionals to seek available courses and certifications that can be added to their resumes, serving as a testament to their commitment to continuous learning and growth.

Mary Kate Downing’s journey at Haneke Design exemplifies the spirit of determination, adaptability, and continuous improvement that we value in our employees. 

“Mary Kate’s attention to detail, her strong work ethic and her capacity for learning new things makes her an extremely valuable member of our team,” says Jody Haneke. 

Her commitment to excellence, combined with her diverse background and unwavering passion for managing software development projects, make her an invaluable asset to our team. 


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