Let me introduce Kitty to you. At the inaugural Brisbane Girl Geek Dinner, to which I took Amanda who worked for me, I wore my kilt and took photos of the ladies there. Bronwen Zande had done a great job organising it and while Amanda was sitting down chatting I was wandering around taking photos and talking. When I finally sat down next to Amanda the seat on the other side was taken by a lovely young platinum blonde haired lady. She was very personable and though she was there with her friend Jenine spent most of the night talking to me. By the end of the night I had decided to hire her.
In the last 18 months I have been privileged to photograph Kitty and Peters wedding, help them through some very difficult things in their lives together, build a website for Peter, go mountain bike riding with Kitty and Peter, and help Kitty develop her business analyst skills through the work she performed for me. Her hair has also gone through half of the colours of the rainbow and a few in between. As Kitty was only working for me part time on business analyst work for various clients she still had a day job. She was frustrated at her inability to gain any BA work in that role and the experience she gained with me helped her get a new job just recently as a BA.
When the Ada Lovelace day was approaching this year Kitty was an obvious choice. So without further ado let me present her.
I never dreamed I would one day become an IT professional, let alone a consultant. I’m not the sort of person who knew exactly what they wanted to do with their life at a young age. IT was something I seemed to fall into and have over the years fallen in love with. My career so far has been varied. I am, to this day, still forging my path. But let’s go back to the very beginning.
With no IT background when starting university, I struggled. It was a very steep learning curve for me, but with persistence and determination I started to get it. I started enjoying learning about IT so much I stuck around after my final year to do Honours, and much to my delight, received First Class!
This achievement, I’m sure, helped me immensely with securing my first position – IT support for an SAP implementation. When experience is 0, this opportunity sounded like a godsend. And it was. Over 18 months I had met some amazing people, gained priceless experience and travelled to the other side of the world. It was all going well, until I felt my career become stagnant. I’m the sort of person that wants to grow as a professional. I have very high expectations and get itchy feet when things get ‘slow’. When asking my team leader what I can do to further myself, her response was ‘this is all we can offer you; there is no career path for you here’. With those words my fate was sealed, and I realized it was time to move on. With a heavy heart I soon handed her my resignation. Within a week, the project was closed and the team was made redundant. What are the chances?
My next adventure was development. As programming was my biggest struggle at university, this career choice was terrifying. But like I said, I want to grow, and what better way than overcome your biggest weakness? For most of my projects, I was the only woman in a team of men, much older than me, with much more experience. It was very daunting and intimidating to begin with, but that just drove me to work harder. I had always felt I had a point to prove.
My time on projects had made me realize my true passion – people. I thrive on working in teams, towards a common goal, and achieving a desired outcome. I have a love for writing and interacting with people to identify problems and come up with solutions. This has led me to my current interest in business analysis consulting. Being a young woman, it was sometimes hard to be taken seriously as a professional. Finally, I feel I am at a place where I am given the chance to flourish, and I will make sure I make the most of every opportunity I am given.
Outside of business hours, I attend Girl Geek Dinners when I can. I really enjoy hearing other people’s stories and experiences and it’s a great way to network! You just never know who you might meet there – you may end up being offered a job there – like me! Last year, I was involved in the “Technology Takes You Anywhere” event, to increase young girls’ interest in IT. I am over the moon I’ve been asked to take part again this year. Information is power, and all women (young and older) deserve to be aware of what doors IT can open for them.
I am proud to know and work with Kitty. She has integrity, dedication and a willingness to learn as well as a bubbly personality.