How I Work Project

How I Work #8: Ryan in Alabama

Welcome to another installment of How I Work!

How I Work #8 introduces Ryan Green, 36, a Field Curriculum Consultant for Medtronic based in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a member of product launch core teams and leads global training and education. For fun, Ryan loves to run and read, and also tipple the odd gin cocktail.

Ryan is my oldest friend. We met when we were 7 years old and briefly attended the same elementary school in Huntsville, Alabama. From Girl Scouts and American Girl Dolls to college, careers, and marriage, Ryan has always been a part of my life. She stood in my wedding in Chicago in 2014 and I attended the baby sprinkle for her second child in Birmingham in 2018.

Our lives are very different now, but after almost 30 years, we still speak the same language. Ryan is my go-to friend, my ride or die, whether were are celebrating, contemplating, or commiserating. My spouse claims after a phone call with Ryan, my inner Southern gal comes out! Read on for Ryan’s thoughts on how the coronavirus has affected how she works.

How has the pandemic changed your job and how you work?

Ryan is a field curriculum consultant at Medtronic, an international medical device company

I travel for my job extensively. The last time I flew was March 5th, 2020. This has been the longest I have been disconnected from my co-workers and my students.

As a team, my colleagues and I had to immediately convert our live training courses to virtual. This was extremely challenging because we had a 10-day training course scheduled to begin March 30th. My team raced to meet the deadline and we were the first education team in our business unit at Medtronic to successfully teach a virtual new hire training course!

Ryan hunkers down in her closet to record a voiceover for a training video

This came with extreme challenges: I have a three-year-old son and two-year-old daughter and we were left without childcare. The noise in my home was so loud, I moved my office into my bedroom closet for several days while I recorded a voiceover.

What have you done to adjust?

I would say we are coping with a very traumatic experience as a global family: people are dying, events are cancelled, jobs are being lost, children are torn apart from their friends. Transparently, this experience has been the most challenging as a parent. There is no guidebook that tells you how to parent during a pandemic and keep your job at the same time!

My children show up on my video calls constantly, as well as my husband’s. Below is a photo [in the center frame] of my very upset daughter sitting on my lap during a WebEx call.

Ryan’s 2-year-old daughter joins her for a WebEx call

Dr. Sally Saba, the Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Medtronic, said something to our employees that truly resonated with me: “Be the person you need. If you need inspiration, be inspiring. If you need someone to ask you how you are doing, call someone and ask how they are doing. If you need grace, give grace.”

How will these changes affect how you work in the future?

Ryan’s 4-year-old son joins her in her dedicated home office

I think that remains to be seen. I have always worked remotely and traveled, but I think we will travel even more judiciously in the future. Going to work sick will not be an option anymore.

I am lucky to have a wonderful manager at Medtronic. I think even more than before, the collision of work and family life during this pandemic has made him even more understanding of that delicate balance working parents are striving for each day. In the future when I have the opportunity to lead a team, it will make me an even more empathetic people leader.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned or encountered during this time?

Ryan leads a team meeting with colleagues around the world

I’ve connected with colleagues from around the world during this time: China, Switzerland, Australia, and Italy. I’ve learned that we are all experiencing loss, hardship, and sadness together. However, we are all together in our collective resolve to overcome and help one another. And that gives me great peace.

Many thanks to Ryan for sharing her experience and insights and for supporting the How I Work Project!

What changes have you made to adjust to life and work during coronavirus?

Merci for reading and please subscribe and share!

À votre santé,


About the How I Work Project

The How I Work series on Joie de Vivre highlights how women around the world are adjusting, coping, and working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. It features professionals living in Australia, Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and the United States (from Detroit and Chicago to Alabama and Vermont).

Whether full-time or part-time, entry-level or retired, a student or a stay-at-home parent or an entrepreneur, we are working. And we all have something to share about how the pandemic effects our daily lives.

Sharing individual insights in a positive, constructive space creates a supportive digital community as we weather the storm of COVID-19 together. It also sheds light on the new normal of the collective lived experience of working during the time of coronavirus.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s