Jumping into design with both feet (in heels!)

In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Sarah-Jane McAdam, project manager at Scaffold Digital

What was your first job?

From an early age I was focused on my studies. After university I started looking for a job as a web designer. I became the first project manager at a Belfast based design company which allowed me to jump in with two feet and learn about all aspects of how the business functioned.

What qualifications do you have?

I have a degree in interactive multimedia design from Ulster University and Level 5 project management fundamentals.

What do you attribute your success to?

Never giving up. I’m very proud that Scaffold Digital has been shortlisted for ‘App of the Year’ on three occasions over the last two years. TakeTen, a stress management app trialled with Danske Bank, is up for Digital DNA - App of the Year 2020.

How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

Honest, trustworthy, passionate and driven.

Who do you look up to in business?

During my career as a project manager I have been very fortunate to work with ambitious people. I’ve enjoyed working with managing directors and getting an insight into the challenges and rewards associated with owning and running a business.

How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

Good communication is key when working as part of any team. I listen and work alongside my team, drawing upon expertise and skills to deliver against the company objectives. I also think that it’s really important to be approachable, so members of the team know they can raise any issues or concerns that they may have and that these will be addressed.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

The arrival of FDI style companies in Northern Ireland has been very positive and it has shone a spotlight on the tech and digital sector, and the skills that do exist in this arena. However, it has meant massive changes for SMEs like Scaffold Digital in terms of the type of work we do and even how we recruit. It would be good if there was greater collaboration between the various businesses operating in Northern Ireland in this sector.

What website or app could you not do without?


What was the last book you read?

The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters. It’s the mind management programme for confidence, success and happiness.

What car do you drive?

Vauxhall Insignia SRI Nav.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

High heels are my guilty pleasure.

What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

I love to travel and for me the best way to do that is cruising.