Community blog: Witty Careers at Campfire
We recently had our Community Showcase and thought it would be fitting to have a member of our community share what we got up to at Campfire. Meet Ramla!
Ramla Anshur is a final year biomedical student, interested in starting a career in Technology consulting and Health Tech. You can keep up with her and her adventures on her twitter page where she shares useful career resources and events @careerramla
I’ve been on a journey for the past year or so attending events to understand what a career in tech entails, particularly for a young black woman such as myself. So, when I received a DM from Witty Careers to my professional twitter page, asking if I would like to attend the Community Showcase, I booked my ticket immediately, having been to 3 out of 4 events (I’m a Witty Careers enthusiast at this point) and learnt so much from each one.
Saturday 16th March finally arrived, and the showcase was being held in the Campfire, in trendy Shoreditch. As per all Witty Careers events, the room was filled with women from a variety of fascinating backgrounds all sharing an interest in tech, open to networking and sharing their current experiences.
The community showcase was in the style of TED Talks given by some incredibly inspiring Women in Tech sharing their journeys. Here are my favourite points from the speakers
The showcase began with Ola Taylor, an award-winning (and super humble) Software Engineer, and her 4 Mindsets to attract good career opportunities.
1 – The Surfer; ride the wave and seize the opportunities that come your way.
2 – The Explorer; approach everything with curiosity.
3 – The Artist; remodel, redesign and reshape experiences to see the positive in opportunities.
4 – The Arrow-shooter; aim high, be ambitious, and tailor experiences and opportunities to your goals.
These mindsets are embodied in The Warrior – a lady who is experienced, approaches all challenges fearlessly and doesn’t give up. We can all be warriors.
Next was Dolapo Ososanya, a Technology Senior Associate who shared her journey into a tech role coming from a non-technical background. She spoke on a topic that hit a nerve with most of the women in the room: Imposter Syndrome, and her top-tips on how to get rid of the feeling:
Believe that you DO belong! You have the qualifications and the CV so don’t doubt yourself!
Do your research, if you don’t understand a topic, look it up and learn.
Ask questions, phrase your questions well and seek answers.
Understand and highlight your strengths, and lead with these attributes.
Be your best authentic self! Don’t water yourself down to fit in.
Seek mentors earlier to support you through your career.
Know WHY you want to go into tech – have a story to tell in your interviews.
Dolapo ended her powerful tips with an equally powerful poem called Desiderata by Max Ehrmann on the importance of being yourself. (I highly recommend reading this beautiful poem).
Our next speaker was Annabel De Souza, a (may I add incredibly hilarious) Senior UX Designer, who spoke on how she curated a career in user experience. Annabel discussed an element of tech careers that is often overlooked by people looking to enter the industry, and that is the soft skills necessary, especially for a successful career in UX design.
Communication: actively listening to clients’ needs and translating that into your work.
Inclusivity – understanding and being empathetic of people’s conditions/experiences and incorporating this into your design.
Collaborative skills – team work skills are key in succeeding in UX.
Tanda Kabanda, a Software Engineer shared with us her journey from graduating with no relevant work experience to securing an international internship in China to supplement her application. Tanda also shared my favourite quote of the day from (my Woman crush) Issa Rae: “We have a tendency of trying to network up, but it’s really about networking across,” as you can learn so much from the people around you. Tanda also shared some golden advice on embracing change and seeking opportunities; “you see results when you take that first uncomfortable step towards something new”. Also, Google is your best friend, so search for opportunities.
Attend events and speak to people without expectations and with an open mind.
Once you’ve found the roles you are interested, tailor down to your interests and attend the wealth of free workshops available, such as codebar.
Seek a mentor to guide you and have confidence to apply to opportunities.
My favourite part of Fatimat’s talk was the importance of communities and giving back as much as you take, and to share the knowledge and resources you have learnt to inspire the next generation of developers.
The community showcase opened up my eyes to the importance of being open to opportunities, and each speaker highlighted the value in actively looking for mentors to guide and support you, turning negative experiences on its head and remodelling them into learning curves. At lunch, we were able to action these through networking with each other, sharing resources and encouraging each other’s journeys. I left the Campfire feeling empowered to take on the next step and had a sense of “you can do this, and there is no one who can tell you otherwise”.
Yet another amazing Witty Careers event, I’ve been to 4 events so far and looking forward to more!