Founder's Letter: Witty Careers at Eastside Young Leaders Academy
Simi here! Before I dive in, I would like to say a big thank you to the Witty Careers community and beyond for all the support and love over the past 2 years. What started off as a small idea has now grown into something bigger than my team and I could have ever imagined.
In 2018, our focus was on skills, so we delivered 4 Technology career workshops for our community in collaboration with Pivotal, Microsoft, Uber and EY. In 2019, we've decided to focus on growing and helping our wider community, starting with our Community Showcase in March and more recently our School Programme.
3 years ago I wrote this blog out of frustration because I had so many ideas about the type of activities that needed to be done to fix the lack of diverse talent in Technology. I promised myself that if given the opportunity to make a difference I would help and support the next generation of Tech leaders. With the help of the Witty Careers team and volunteers from our community, we did exactly that.
On May 11th, the Witty Careers team and volunteers visited Eastside Young Leaders Academy in London to run our School Programme. It was an afternoon to give Year 9 to 11 students insight into what it’s like to have a career in the Technology sector and an opportunity to learn about the cloud, data lake and AI and how they’re already using it in their everyday lives. We also ran a mobile app design workshop for the students to design and pitch their app ideas. We wrapped up with a fireside chat where the students had the opportunity to ask us all their questions about how we got started in the industry, who are role models were and our tips for learning how to code.
One of my highlights from the day, was during the session introduction where everyone from the Witty Careers Team introduced themselves, shared where they worked and explained their day job. The look of amazement on the students faces when they saw that people that looked like them were working in Tech at the coolest companies was priceless!
Representation is so important! It’s tough to aspire to a position where you’ve never seen someone from the same ethnicity or gender occupy. If the students didn’t take away anything from that day (P.S. they definitely did because the app ideas and their intelligent questions were brilliant), I’m sure they took away the fact that they could do anything they want when they are older because Witty Careers showed them they could.
Our School Programme is our sixth flagship event and it’s shown me that the impact of paying it forward is unmatched. The students who started out as quiet and reserved were full of ideas and energy as the afternoon progressed. They were also genuinely curious about the breath of job options they didn’t know about before which made the whole afternoon purposeful. They say purpose is when your life creates room for others to thrive. My hope is that Witty Careers continues to fulfil purpose and empower others .
Wishing you all the best!
EDIT: You can watch the school programme trailer below.