What did you study (at school, college or University)?
At School I studied biology, chemistry and physics at A-Level. After taking a decade out of education to gain some work experience, as well as course funding, I enrolled in a university evening course to study teaching at degree level.
What do you do in IT Services?
How did you get into technology?
I was always keen on building and fixing things when I was a child, this was quite limited technology wise though as the family computer (an Amiga 1500) was mainly for games and word-processing and off limits for any serious development.
I learnt what I could from the programs on the various home and school computers that I had access to and attended whatever IT courses I could.
When I started my first proper job as an Admin Clerk at BT (British Telecom) there were so many applications, processes and systems that I had to learn. That prompted me to find ways of using the knowledge that I had built up previously to optimise my work. During my time there I wrote a number of macros for their mainly DOS based systems to streamline data entry and my colleagues there were still using them when I left 6 years later, a source of some pride for a self-taught ‘coder’ such as myself.
What advice would you give to girls considering a technology related career?
Definitely take the time to consider what you feel you’re good at and what keeps you interested. For me it was analysis and optimisation and when I started playing around and putting this into practice with various technologies I found some that I really liked working with. Don’t be afraid to try out different technologies and different areas, as you never know when you might enjoy working with something that seemed a little mundane at first.
What advice would you give to women thinking of working in IT Services at UoB?
Regardless of whether you’re self-taught or academically trained and whatever your skillset is be it design, programming or analysis, there are a wide range of areas in IT Services here at UoB for both technical and non-technical roles. Find an area that interests you and start there. I first started as a training advisor, teaching the applications that I develop here today.