Holly Sit | Director, Research & Development | Alameda, CA
Q. What is your role at Penumbra?
Like everyone here, I see it as my job to help grow and move the company forward in any way I can. As an Engineering manager, I do this by providing support to project teams and engineers. I help multiple project teams with “big picture” planning, testing, and prototyping. In my job, I also manage and mentor a few engineers and I am always focused on helping the individuals and teams grow by providing the right opportunities and challenges.
Q. What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
It is an amazing feeling when you’re a part of a team in which everyone pulls their own weight and is focused more on the goal of launching high quality products, than any of their own personal gains or ego.
Q. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little I thought I wanted to be a doctor. Then, in my senior year of high school, I took a physics class and fell in love with the challenge of a technical problem and the many different ways that it could be solved. From then on I knew I wanted to be an engineer.
Q. What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
Knowing that I can make a difference in the workplace with the people I work with, but also that I can make a difference in the lives of people I don’t know – doctors, patients, their families, and even the future of medical device technology.
Q. Where’s the best place you’ve traveled to, and why?
Japan! I explored tucked away shrines in pouring rain, backpacked for a few days, stayed in a Buddhist temple, ate amazing food, and was immersed in a culture unlike my own. There is such a vast and rich history and cultural pride in Japan and it was great taking it in.
Q. What is one of your most memorable moments as a Penumbra employee?
I have so many good memories at Penumbra, but my favorite is when we launched the Reperfusion Catheter 5MAX ACE. I was the project manager working with an amazing team, in which every person was dedicated and committed to the same goal. It was a whirlwind project, working long days to deliver a device that made big strides in the treatment of stroke. The energy and excitement behind that project was so invigorating. After we launched, we were so touched when we heard about all the lives we changed. Those are the moments that make everything about the job come together.
Q. How do you define success?
Success is not a destination or a place to be, it is a constant movement that is always paired with setbacks and failures. I see successful people as ones who are happy, grateful, and always learning. True success does not show as grand, ornate, and powerful. Rather, true success shows as grateful, confident, and humble.
Originally posted February 2018