Oct 2019

Oct 2019

So I haven’t been posting much the past couple of months, I’m not too sure why, it isn’t that I don’t want to continue this, I just seem to have other things occupying my time. But, I’ve been overwhelmed with how many people have asked when will I be posting again, so I’m going to definitely make more of an effort going forwards.

So where am I right now?

It has been a year since I joined Whitbread, which has flown by! I’m very grateful for all the opportunities I’m getting involved with, but sometimes I can feel like I have Imposter Syndrome, then I remember there is a reason I am there and that I can do it – as I’m sure many can relate to. I’m now onto my 4th graduate scheme rotation, Information Security (InfoSec), for the last two months I’ve been in the Security Operations team, working with them with incidents, threat modelling and gaining an understanding of the tools that are used. It has been a really insightful two months, as I now move on to another part of InfoSec it has been really good to get an overview of that team and work alongside them. Only two more rotations after this and then I will be moving into a full time position come September 2020… I’m excited to see where I will end up within Whitbread. Definitely the biggest thing I’ve learnt is the power of networking, I feel like I’ve learnt so much from people I’ve worked with and met as I’ve rotated round.

In the last 6 months, I have also set up my own company on the side of Whitbread to earn some extra pennies, Viberse, where I provide social media and email marketing consultancy and also build WordPress websites for clients.

In my personal life, I’ve been spending a lot of time down in Bournemouth whilst my boyfriend continues with his flight training – can’t believe it’s been a year he has been there also. I’ve also loved seeing so many of my friends, from school, from placement and from my grad scheme in my spare time; as well as family.

So between all that I guess it is why I haven’t been posting as much, but I really want to share my experiences to you all, continue to help give a perspective from a women in tech and potentially encourage younger girls and women to try out a role in Tech.

Interview Techniques

Interview Techniques

Many of you will be starting to apply for Industrial Placements, Graduate Schemes and Jobs over the next few months, so I thought I’d share some tips with you which have helped me in interviews.

Have you heard of the STAR Method?

STAR is a technique we were taught at university to teach us how to answer interview questions, it is a good way on practising how to give context to an answer whilst also promoting yourself.

Situation – Provide a one sentenced context of the situation

Task – What you had to do in the situation

Action – What involvement you had in the situation and task

Result – Whether it was successful or not, and what you learnt

For example, if you were asked the question “How have you demonstrated teamwork?” you could respond with: (Situation) When I was in university, we had to partake in a group project (Task) where we had to create an app for travelling around London, (Action) within the group I was nominated as Project Manager, this meant I was responsible for the timelines of the app creation and delivery. (Result) We worked well as a team, we’d created a group chat to collaborate and although there were some unexpected issues, as I had built in contingency to the plan it was delivered in time.

Body Language

Body Language is one of the most important things you need to think about when you’re in an interview. Make sure you are sitting up straight, look at your interviewer’s when they are talking and when you are answering, smile, and shake hands at the beginning and end.

Try to make sure you aren’t crossing your arms and slouching, because that will come across that you aren’t interested or you are guarded off.

My Biggest Piece of Advice

The most important piece of advice I can give to you, is to try and talk about things you are passionate about. When you are passionate or excited about something in your life, when you talk about it, you instinctively smile and this is something that will come across well in an interview. If you love horse riding or have competed in athletics and love doing so, then incorporate these in your answers.

I hope the above helps & good luck!

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Melinda Gates on Letterman

If you have a spare hour and Netflix, I’d suggest you watch the Melinda Gates episode on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction which is David Lettermen’s show where he interviews some very high profile people.

Melinda Gates discusses the importance of gender equality and women in technology, as well as philanthropy’s role in society; and her new book The Moment of Lift which I will definitely be ordering now!

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Happy Women’s Day 2019

After being fortunate enough to be a finalist at the EveryWoman in Technology Awards for Rising Star this week in which I met some amazing women who are doing incredible things such as the founder of Kizcode teaching children to code in Turkey and Africa under threatening conditions.

This weekend I’m lucky to be spending it with some friends, one of which was a fellow IT placement student at GSK with me, who is now doing great things at her graduate job at Boeing.

Lucky to be surrounded by such great women!

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Why I Changed My Name To Steve

Take a look at the inspirational Dame Stephanie Shirley who is a big part in the WCIT where I am a Journeyman.

https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/why-i-had-to-change-my-name-to-steve/p06yyqv1?playlist=older-and-wiser

It is unimaginable now that as a woman you wouldn’t be listened to just because of your name, but I know this was a very common thing and to some extent it still is today, not just with women and men but preconceptions when you read somebody’s name or CV before actually meeting them.

Unfortunately, it is still common for women to have to choose between a career and a family, often that is an individuals choice and increasingly more companies are willing to help with flexible hours etc. But there is still a choice to be made and that’s a lot of pressure on a woman’s mental health.

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Should there be separate sporting events for men and women?

I was watching The Grand Tour episode from Friday 8th Feb, and in their usual “Conversation Street” part of the show they started to talk about a new racing league which is going to be women only and their thoughts on the matter, and probably the best thing Richard Hammond has ever said is that we should be encouraging girls from an early age to be getting into go karting and racing.

I completely agree with this, it’s the same for the STEM industries, I always get asked how do we get more women into tech and to some extent it’s too late by the time they are at university etc, to gain a real increase we need to be putting the effort into exposing girls under 10 to what they can achieve in STEM.

I can understand why in sport there are segregated leagues and teams etc, especially if it’s to do with different types of weight categories, like boxing, however when it is something like racing I don’t think it’s necessarily encouraging to girls because often it can be seen as an inferior league, like it is in football with less TV coverage, sponsorship and pay. I think separate leagues are fine with different purposes, if there is maybe then an ultimate one that brings together all to compete?

Let us know your thoughts below or on social media 🏅🤓

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EveryWoman Finalist

Delighted to be announced as a finalist in the 2019 FDM EveryWoman Tech Awards among many inspiring #WomenInTech 🤓 in the Rising Star category!

Looking forward to meeting other women in technology at the award show in March and am very grateful for the nomination and recognition.

Taking place to celebrate International’s Women’s Day, the awards are a timely reminder that only 15% of people working in STEM roles in the U.K. are female and just 5% of leadership positions in the tech industry are held by women.

“Achieve, Elevate and Inspire” is this year’s rally cry

Looking back over the past year, it has been a whirlwind and I hope this can bring me more opportunities to dispel the STEM stereotype.

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Wominspiration: Digital Marketing

Had a great evening yesterday speaking about my career and how i digital market, honoured to have been asked by Eileen Brown as it was her BCS Digital Marketer book launch 📚

Met some lovely people and it’s always great to put yourself out there to practice speaking and support events when you can.

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*Apply* To Whitbread Graduate Scheme 2019

If you’re looking for a graduate scheme in IT, then take a look and apply for the scheme that I’ve been on since September.

As part of the IT Architecture stream, I’ve been working with colleagues on designing new or making changes to existing IT systems. I’ve learnt so much within 3 months there already with the support of my line manager, mentor and sponsor, as well as, other members of my team and other members of the company.

As graduates we are also striving towards giving back, we are doing this through the company aligned charity Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

With the Costa sale, Whitbread brands such as Premier Inn and Beefeater, are going to be in an even stronger position for growth and this is where IT is key.

So take a look:

https://www.whitbreadcareers.com/job-details/616447-11216/

If you have any questions, feel free to message me! 🤓

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6 years ago…

6 years ago I went to Brunel University for a Computing Taster Day, having not decided what I was going to do at uni yet or what uni to go to, but that day I decided both those things!

Crazy how time flies, I’ve finished my degree and am working in tech, if it wasn’t for events like that I don’t know where I’d be or what I would have done. That’s why putting effort back into promoting STEM has best interest for everybody!