What did you study (at school, college or University)?
I didn’t really know what I wanted to do as a career when I was at college, so I just studied things I enjoyed – art, English, classics, biology, and psychology. I started a degree but didn’t enjoy it, so I left to focus on work experience and professional development. Even though I wanted to return to study, I just couldn’t bring myself to give up work to study full-time! I signed up with the Open University and graduated with a BA in Creative Writing in 2018. I’m currently studying for an MFA in Poetry.
What do you do in IT Services?
I’m a Senior Business Analyst, working in Application Management. In a nutshell, we work up front with people who want to bring in new solutions to gather and prioritise their requirements, and map their current (‘as is’) and future (‘to be’) processes. We then support them through implementation to ensure their requirements are being developed. We are also a dab hand at process engineering, helping stakeholders to identify where they can improve the way they work – whether through technology or otherwise.
How did you get into technology?
I found business analysis through process improvement and project work, and I became interested in making technology work for its users when I was heavily involved in multiple system implementations in my previous jobs. I now enjoy the challenge of bringing technology enablement to people who are working ineffectively with legacy systems or processes. I am not very technically-minded, but I think that can be a strength when you are working on behalf of teams and customers who might not be either!
What advice would you give to girls considering a technology related career?
‘Technology’ isn’t just for people who know how to build and maintain IT solutions. There are a wealth of analysis, project, strategic, marketing, design, and many other roles on offer which give you the opportunity to get involved in an exciting and quickly-evolving sector without having ‘technical’ knowledge. So whether you’re well-versed in code, or ‘transferrable’ skills are more your thing, you can find a role to suit you. And finding a really good female (or GNB) mentor can help relieve any anxieties you might have about male-dominated environments, and give you confidence in navigating uncertain situations.
What advice would you give to women thinking of working in IT Services at UoB?
If your skills and aspirations fit the job, go for it! As of writing, I’ve been here for five weeks, and I’ve found the people welcoming, the work varied and interesting, and the support overwhelming! Landing in a department with a ‘Women in IT’ network in place, and multiple support and inclusivity groups across the wider university, I feel like there will always be someone to help if I need it.