What did you study (at school, college or University)?
I was encouraged to pursue science subjects at A Level (chemistry, biology and mathematics) and so went on to study biochemistry at university in Manchester. At university I soon learnt that all the interesting jobs in my subject would require a PhD and years of experience which didn't feel like something I wanted to pursue so I realised I'd need to look at a different career path.
What do you do in IT Services?
I'm the Head of IT Business Partnering – which is essentially a translator/communicator between people wanting technology and the people delivering the technology.
I manage two IT Business Partners and the IT Customer Experience and Communications team. I'm also IT Business Partner for the Academic Services department which means I work with the Academic Registrar and his senior management team to support them in producing a technology roadmap and to support them with exploring existing and new technologies to support their ambitions. This feeds into a two-year plan of work for the IT Services department.
How did you get into technology?
My first "proper job" after university covered marketing, editorial, PR and website management. The web was still quite new at that point so it was delegated to me to take forwards and I had quite a lot of freedom to learn about websites and steer the development which was quite exciting as a new graduate. When I first joined the University it was as a web editor in the External Relations team. From there I accidentally ended up in IT Services and have held a number of different roles in the department.
What advice would you give to girls considering a technology related career?
There are lots of different types of roles in the technology sector so explore which ones might be best suited to your interests and strengths. If going into a technical role then make sure you’re also working on your ‘soft skills’ whilst developing your technical capability – we need both.
Be adaptable, technologies and roles in IT can change quite rapidly so keep learning new things and don’t be too worried about taking on a new challenge.
What advice would you give to women thinking of working in IT Services at UoB?
Please apply! I love working in the department and although of course I'll occasionally have a "bad day" here it's never too bad as there are some great people around me. I find the University an incredibly supportive place to work. There are some great people working in IT Services and a wider University community that you can become part of with opportunities both within work hours and outside if you want to.