Hello everyone! To start this wonderful weekend, we wanted to bring you another edition of the Employee Spotlight Series! Our focus this week is on Jaycie Olney. Jaycie is a Data Analyst and has been a part of the SpendMend team for three and a half years. It was great getting to know Jaycie better, and learning more about her interests and hobbies! Jaycie attended Grand Valley State University and graduated with a BSN in Statistics. She didn’t start her higher education journey with statistics in mind. She took an introductory course in college and immediately became interested. Jaycie decided to switch to pursue a degree in statistics because she liked how many opportunities the degree offered. A fun fact about Jaycie is that she loves to travel and has been to four countries so far! She has always loved the idea of traveling and after her first trip overseas, Jaycie realized she wanted to see more of the world. One of her favorite trips was to Thailand because the locals were nice, the food was delicious and interesting, and the scenery was amazing! Her favorite part about her trip to Thailand was visiting the elephant sanctuary. Jaycie was able to spend the day hanging out and feeding elephants! Make sure to check out the full interview below to read more about Jaycie’s traveling experiences! Outside of work, Jaycie enjoys hiking in her free time! She started hiking about six years ago and her first hike was the Flatiron Loops in Boulder. Her favorite part about hiking is the beautiful views, but also the accomplishment of challenging herself physically and mentally. Recently, Jaycie has been hiking in Arizona! Hiking with a two-year-old has some difficult moments, but she has found trails that work for them both! Another one of Jaycie’s favorite hobbies is going to concerts. When she lived in Grand Rapids, there were a lot of opportunities to see many great artists! Some of her favorite artists she has seen in concert are Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper, EarthGang, Lil Wayne, and Anderson.Paak. Her favorite song she has seen performed live was Sunday Candy by Chance The Rapper, Jaycie states, “It’s such a happy, beautiful song!”
Jaycie does a fantastic job as a Data Analyst and is recognized for her hard work and dedication by her co-workers! Michele Gort, Data Analyst, said, “I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to get to work closely with Jaycie for the last two years in the analytics department. She is always willing to step up to make sure our team can complete the challenges that can arise and I honestly couldn’t ask for a better colleague. I’m always so amazed by how she manages to accomplish everything with a toddler running around in the background – She really is wonder-woman! Jaycie has motivated me, supported me, and covered for me – I’m so grateful for her.” We are grateful for all that you do for SpendMend, Jaycie! Thank you!
Interview with Jaycie
What is your role at SpendMend?
How long have you been with SpendMend?
How did you first learn about SpendMend?
I think it was through Grand Valley. I had graduated a few months prior and was looking for my first 9-5.
What 3 words would you use to describe SpendMend?
Driven, Hands On, Flexible
Why do you look forward to coming to work?
I look forward to working with my awesome group and creating valuable analytics for our clients
Before working at SpendMend, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I don’t know if I have an unusual one, but I worked at a nursing home for a few years while in college and I learned some of the best lessons ever from those residents.
What made you want to start working at a nursing home? ‘
I started out college studying nursing. I also needed to work at least a few days a week for some income so I thought the experience would be good. Plus my best friend worked there!
What were some of the lessons you learned? Elaborate why you find them useful now!
It was a very eye opening experience. I worked in a home that was for people with Dementia/Alzheimer’s. To see the decline in people was very sad. It has definitely made me appreciate life so much more! It also showed me how the health care system really works which isn’t always the best. That job made me realize how burnt out you can get in the healthcare industry. I loved helping people, but it took everything out of me and it became very stressful. I was still in school so I really started to think about what kind of career and lifestyle I wanted to have.
Any fun or interesting stories you would like to share?
I have so many good memories with those residents though. I felt like I really became friends with a former nun. She had no children and only a brother left living so one day (with permission) I took her out for a ride for ice cream. She was far in her disease so she really only laughed the whole time, but I like to think she had a good time!
Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
I currently live in Coolidge, Arizona. I moved out here about a year and a half ago. I grew up in Quincy, MI, but moved to Grand Rapids when I started attending GVSU after high school.
Where did you go to college and what did you study? Why did you choose that path of study?
I graduated with my BSN in Statistics. I didn’t start with this path and coming from a small town statistics was never a course that was offered. At GVSU you have to take an introductory course and that’s where I started having an interest. The school suggested I minor in stats and after some confusion on what I wanted to major in I just went full in with stats. I liked how many opportunities a statistics degree offered; I mean data is what drives everything.
What is one fun fact about you?
I have traveled to 4 countries so far; Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands and Thailand. Next on the list is Jamaica for my honeymoon in October!
What piqued your interest to travel?
I have always loved the idea of travel; whether getting on a plane or doing a road trip. My family would go to Florida quite often and make the full day road trip and I enjoyed it! After my first trip oversees in 2015 I really wanted to start traveling and seeing more of the world.
Which was your favorite country you visited out of the 4 and why?
Thailand was definitely my favorite. Everyone was so nice, the food was delicious/sometimes interesting, and the views were amazing! My favorite part was the elephant sanctuary. I got to hang out and feed elephants for the day, no riding though because they really don’t like it!
Did you do any interesting or crazy excursions or sightseeing you would like to share?
Another cool experience was when I was in Europe I took a 48 hour cruise from Sweden to Finland. We just had the day to explore Finland, but I had the freshest seafood ever
What type of music or podcasts do you listen to during the workday?
Right now I can’t really focus on podcasts during the day with my 2 year old at home. So it’s a lot of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Blippi and a daily dance party because my son loves to dance!
Do you have any hobbies or participate in any activities outside of work?
I love hiking, going to concerts, traveling, pretty much any type of sporting event and now more so kid centered things like aquariums and zoos
When did you start hiking as a hobby?
I started hiking maybe 6 or so years ago.
What do you like the most about hiking? What is the biggest challenge?
To be honest I love a nature trail type hike a little more LOL, but my first real hike was the Flatiron Loops in Boulder. The views are beautiful from every angle and it was definitely a challenge! That is my favorite thing about hiking. I feel like I accomplished something really positive for myself physically and mentally. The views make it even better!
What was your favorite hike you’ve done so far?
I’ve started hiking a bit in Arizona, but with a 2 year old it is harder. We’ve found trails that cater to him though!
What concerts have you been to? What concert was your favorite and why?
At this point I don’t even know how many concerts I’ve been too honestly. Living in Grand Rapids gave me a lot of opportunities to see a lot of cool artists. I will say some of my favorites have been Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper, EarthGang, Lil Wayne and Anderson.Paak. All really great performances! Kanye had a floating stage at Van Andel and it was pretty awesome to see in person!
Favorite concert venue?
I love outdoor summer concerts in Michigan too. DTE Energy is a cool venue! Although I think it’s called Pine Knob now.
What is your favorite song you have seen performed live?
My favorite song I’ve seen performed live is Sunday Candy by Chance The Rapper. It’s such a happy, beautiful song!
Do you interact with
None of the above
Can you describe an interaction when you helped a client or a supplier that stands out in your mind?
We mostly work with supervisors, managers and CVMs. I can’t think of a specific time, but whenever we can turn something around for them quickly or add more in depth data it is always nice to get a response knowing that we are appreciated and adding value to their client meeting.
What was the best compliment you’ve ever been paid by a client or supplier?
I was told before that although I am quiet and don’t bug people too much my work never goes unnoticed and that I was very appreciated for it. It’s nice to get that acknowledgement when you’re not expecting it.
What is the best part of serving the healthcare market?
Knowing that we’re trying to recover money that will hopefully be used in a better way. I love health care. I just realized I couldn’t work directly in it so I like that SpendMend is indirectly helping.
What is your favorite Recovery Room Activity?
The only thing I really got to do while there was recline and rest my swollen feet when I was pregnant in office.
What is your favorite in house event? (specific potluck, chili cook-off, bring your kid to work day, etc.)
I loved the Thanksgiving feast we would have! It’s my favorite holiday and we always have SO much food!
Do you want to shout out a co-worker who has helped or inspired you at SpendMend?
I would like to shout out Matt Gunnin! He is one of the nicest guys and always willing to help. He’s a great asset to SpendMend.
What advice do you have for prospective candidates who want to join the SpendMend team?
Stay focused and communicate. Whether you may not understand something or see yourself in a different department, it never hurts to speak up.
What has been your proudest accomplishment at SpendMend?
Moving to the analytics department the same day we started working from home. I also was 8 months pregnant. It was such a chaotic time and it wasn’t always smooth, but I feel like I came out of that time really proud of myself for how much I handled.
What is something you’re looking forward to for your future at SpendMend?
Looking to see where the analytics department goes. Our group is small and we just started out a few years ago so I’m excited to see where were at in another 2 years.