What did you study (at school, college or University)?
At school I studied maths, English, French and design technology at A Level and couldn’t decide what to choose for my degree – I virtually considered the full A-Z of subjects! Eventually I chose to study English and American literature at the University of Nottingham.
What do you do in IT Services?
I am an Application Analyst in the Application Operations team. In real terms my job is to help ensure that our applications are available and functioning effectively for users across the university, and that involves responding to requests and incidents that users raise through the Service Desk. I am also Service Owner for ServiceNow (the Service Management platform) and a number of student facing systems, so I am responsible for ensuring those services are delivering value to our customers.
How did you get into technology?
Getting into technology was a happy accident for me. After graduating I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I had worked part-time at the University of Nottingham’s enquiry centre during my studies so I decided to use that experience to get a job in Higher Education. I did a couple of recruitment and programme administrator roles before becoming a web editor, a role which was heavily focused on marketing and recruitment, as well as supporting colleagues with using the web editing platform. I got to know the web team in IT Services through that and when an opportunity came up to join the team I went for it, as I had realised that I wanted a role which was more focused on solving problems for people and supporting them in using technology. My focus is not so web-focused now but I still get to help users out with web editing issues occasionally. I’m so glad that I made the move into IT as I feel much more fulfilled in my work.
What advice would you give to girls considering a technology related career?
When I started working in the department I had a bad case of imposter syndrome - I didn’t feel qualified to work in such a technical area.
You may have an arts or humanities background and feel the same way, but if you can communicate well and enjoy solving problems and thinking of ways to improve things, there is a place for you in the world of technology and you can add real value. Don’t feel put-off if you don’t see yourself as a ‘techie’.
What advice would you give to women thinking of working in IT Services at UoB?
Some days everything seems to be going wrong and it can be quite stressful, but that is the nature of working with technology, and I can honestly say that my colleagues get me through those days because they are such a nice bunch of people. They are always willing to take time to explain how particular systems work and to share their knowledge with others. No-one can be an expert on everything but there is a culture here of helping out and giving advice where needed.
If a role comes up that you think you have the skills for even if you don’t have a background in IT, apply! Then once you are here, don’t worry about asking lots of questions.