STEM+Arts Career Profile – Heather Ratcliffe

Heather Ratcliffe
Director, Technology PMO at T-Mobile

1.     Tell us about your role and what does it entail?

I’m a Director within the Digital Technology and Development organization at T-Mobile leading a team of Technical Program Managers who delivery enterprise initiatives. In this capacity I am responsible for the flawless execution and delivery of products and services to achieve, financial, quality and speed to markets requirements. It could be that next cool iPhone launch, 5G Network implementation, electronic payment processing or that next big uncarrier promotion.

2.     What’s your background and how did it lead you to what you’re currently doing?

I hold a MBA in Technology Management. I started my technology career with the City of Tacoma as a Geographic Information System (GIS) Analyst. I was part of a team to revitalize downtown Tacoma as a City of Destiny. I partnered with a team of urban planners, architects, project managers and analysts to design 3D map renderings of purposed design. Our team’s work was showcased and published at ESRI National Conference for GIS professionals. While working at the City of Tacoma I was able to get my feet wet as a Project Manager. I realized fairly quickly organizing work and people to deliver value for the enterprise was my passion. Hence, I’ve never looked back.

3.     What advice would you give our teens about, getting into your industry?

Dream big! Anything is possible through Planning – Preparation – Positioning. To quote Les Brown, “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity, and not have one than to have one and not be Prepared”

4.     What is the most fun thing about your job?

Seeing the fruits of your labor, whether through television advertisement or feedback from the frontline teams we serve in Retail and care. Also, there always something cool and exciting to work on whether connected technology, customer personalization or the next big innovation.

5.     Did you have someone in your life growing up that provided you the support and inspiration?

That would be my mother. She inspired me with a strong work ethic And independence. At a young age. I remember going to my mom‘s job where she was a boss. She dressed nice, people always came to her desk to ask her questions and she introduced me to the typewriter and white out.

6.     Can you share something about yourself that isn’t well known?

As a kid I spent time on the family farm in Paris, Arkansas where I learned the importance of hard work, collaborating with others and being self sufficient which developed in to my work ethic today.

Heather is also on the Black Women in Technology Seattle Team.