25 Year Reflections: Jana Bates’ Story

Featured Image Jana

As we celebrate 25 years of building community, we asked our team to reflect on their own growth from 1999 to today. Director Jana Bates was an accounting manager who had served the healthcare industry her entire career. How did she find herself at Bridgepoint 25 years later? Read the full interview below to get an inside look at Jana’s story.

Reflect on where you were 25 years ago and what your aspirations were for your career. What would you tell that person now? I was an Accounting Manager at a radiology physician practice management company in the DFW area and had spent my entire career to that point in the healthcare industry. I was in the midst of making the decision to move to Austin and pursue a career outside of healthcare to have a more diverse background. I would tell that person not to worry because it was the right career move.

How does your career progression align or differentiate from your expectations 25 years ago? At that time, I assumed I would follow the traditional path in accounting and move up through the ranks to CFO, but about 5 years after that I made the decision that the CFO track wasn’t right for me. I never imagined moving into a consulting role and especially not ending up in a sales-focused leadership position on our Cloud Solutions team, but I definitely believe this is where I belong.

What was your biggest work tech headache 25 years ago? Dial-up internet at home was painful, but I’m fairly certain we didn’t even use the internet at work in 1999. Fax and email were the primary forms of communication. The rolled-up fax paper was the worst! Also, our journal entries had to be processed overnight before we could get reports, and I had to act a bit in a network admin role if something broke on the server where the accounting software lived.

What was your dream office perk in 1999? Casual Fridays would have been amazing.

Did your job require more formal attire in 1999? Any memorable or outrageous outfits you sported? Not only did we have to wear suits, but women had to wear skirts and pantyhose, no pants. We didn’t have anything too outrageous as the healthcare industry was pretty conservative, maybe some big shoulder pads. I do recall having a fuchsia and white polka dot suit.

How did you collaborate with colleagues? Do you think video conferencing would have made a difference? Primarily via email, meetings and phone conversations. There was a lot more travel for in-person meetings as well.

What office supply did you hoard the most back in 1999? Different color highlighters for sure, so I could color code things.

What skill did you use the most at work, and how has that skill evolved or been replaced by technology today? Lotus 1-2-3 skills were the most critical then and have since transitioned to Excel, but it is still definitely one of the key skills I use every day. Definitely much easier to navigate these days.

Looking back, what surprises you most about how work has changed from 1999 to 2024? I don’t think I ever could have imagined a time where everything would be stored in the “cloud” and our phones would essentially be computers. The thought of working remotely wasn’t even a real possibility since we didn’t even have laptops. I sometimes miss the direct interactions we had with our teammates and customers, but I really appreciate the efficiency of today. I fought the smartphone hard, saying I didn’t want to be that connected, but now I’d be lost without it.