Finding a Home at PPD: A Military Spouse’s Career Journey

Rewards specialist discovers her potential at PPD.

Amanda Sheldon, compensation analyst

Amanda Sheldon is a compensation analyst at PPD. She earned her bachelor’s degree in international affairs from University of Mary Washington and joined PPD in early 2016. Her husband actively serves in the United States Marine Corps.

Interviewer: Can you describe your role as a compensation analyst?

Sheldon: As a compensation analyst, I consult with human resource business partners to assist business leadership in managing internal equity and external competitiveness of employee compensation. This involves analyzing and classifying jobs across the organization, reviewing relevant market data, finalizing job descriptions, and building tools and dashboards to assist business leaders in making informed decisions.

Interviewer: What initially attracted you to PPD?

Sheldon: After a string of moves across the world, the U.S. Marines sent us to North Carolina, where I found myself once again looking for a job. Driving through Wilmington, I noticed the PPD building overlooking the Cape Fear River, and decided I had some research to do. It became clear to me that PPD is an organization with a strong sense of purpose: a mission to improve lives around the world through helping to develop life-changing therapies. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of that, but I had no idea that PPD would have such an impact on my own life.

Interviewer: What career challenges have you faced as a military spouse?

Sheldon: As a result of my husband’s military career, we have moved seven times in seven years across the U.S. and Japan. I have had to find a new job each time, substantially limiting my career progression. These moves have brought uncertainty in my career, as I encountered employer resistance to hiring military spouses. However, with determination and luck, I have been able to make it work. While my experience spans various industries and areas of human resources, I have never had the opportunity to get promoted in my role or stay more than a year with a company — until now.

Interviewer: How have the challenges in growing your career as a military spouse made you a stronger employee?

Sheldon: The upside to all of the moves and transitions is that it has challenged me to adapt quickly. With only a year to commit to some of these previous roles, I have had to make an impact quickly. The frequent reminders that I am not entitled to my job have both kept me humble and fostered a determination to always prove my value. Finally, it has taught me to absorb all that I can from the leadership and coworkers I admire. Fortunately, I get to continue working with them, a benefit that I do not take for granted given my experience as a military spouse.

Interviewer: What do you enjoy about working for PPD?

Sheldon: PPD has invested in me in ways previously out of reach to me, given my nomadic military lifestyle. My leadership has challenged me to grow in new ways, and given me the space in which to do so. Serving with such a talented, passionate team of professionals around the globe has been an incredibly empowering experience. Additionally, PPD has allowed me the opportunity to continue my career with the company by working remotely, despite moving across the country on another set of military orders. It is a powerful thing to have the opportunity to continue serving an organization that values and recognizes my contributions, and I look forward to a long career with PPD.

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