This article, first published on the Hamilton Barnes website, explores why Zareena was drawn to study networking at Birmingham City University.
How did you first get interested in a career in technology?
The first time I got to know about networking was during my GCSEs. I didn’t know anything about IT at the time but I thought it was interesting. In sixth form I chose IT and Business and got to know the basics of IT and got more familiar with it and developed my interest. My teacher at that time was a network engineer and she helped me understand the basics of networking and to study for the exams.
How did you end up getting into networking?
When I was in year 10 I start studying for my CCNA. Because I learned the basics of networking in school and was really enjoying it I decided to study a degree in networking at Birmingham City University. I did a work placement at Exponential-e where I worked as a pre-sales consultant and also got the opportunity to work in service delivery. I’m now a final year student where I’m on track to obtain a first in my computer networking and security degree.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
During my internship at Exponential-e I worked as a pre-sales consultant for 11 months. During these 11 months I really enjoyed trouble-shooting. I think it is interesting to find a way to solve issues. After finishing working as a pre-sales consultant I also got the opportunity to work in service delivery, where I configured lots of Juniper routers.
What is your role and what are your main daily activities?
My role was to make documentations. Customers would ask for specific services and I had to verify that all the relevant documents were there and ready.
What accomplishments are you most proud of and why?
I’m the most proud of the fact that I am the first person and first girl in my family to go to university. Next to that I’m on track to obtain a first in my degree.
Based on your personal experience and in your opinion, what are 3 characteristics that will make you successful in the networking industry?
- Organisation. You need to be very organised
- Study hard and don’t leave things to the last minute
- Be punctual
Technology is a field mainly dominated by men, what steps should be taken to attract more women to tech?
I think that IT and technology should be introduced to children from a young age. They will be adopt it, get used to it and can develop an interest for it. I got to know about it in school and I also have a friend who is a network engineer and he introduced me to this industry.
What do you perceive as being the biggest barrier for women entering the tech industry and what would be your message/advice to women trying to get into the field of networking?
The biggest barrier is that it is a very male dominated field. I think this holds girls back from entering the IT world. My advice would be, go for it! If I can do it, you can do it too. I came to the UK with bad English and didn’t even know how to use a keyboard and look at me now. Work hard, be punctual and be truthful. Don’t tell yourself you can’t do it, because you can do everything.
Inspired by Zareena’s story?
We are grateful to Hamilton Barnes for allowing us to republish this article. Hamilton Barnes specialises in placing networking graduates at pioneering technology companies throughout the UK. www.hamilton-barnes.co.uk