Kira Henry is a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Colt Technology Services. Here she shares her experience as a woman working in Tech & Digital.
What led you to do an apprenticeship?
The main thing that led me to do an apprenticeship is being able to study in a work environment while also gaining the experience and skills I need for the industry I want to be in. I also get to earn money while studying and learning.
What is it like to be a woman working in technology?
Fun but difficult. I struggled during university studying computer science because I was one of the only females in my class and my classmates made fun of me. I felt like going to university wasn’t for me but I didn’t want to give up on my dream of getting a tech career.
Luckily, I was able to meet a bunch of amazing women in Code First Girls and through creating an account on LinkedIn that pushed me to keep learning and studying tech while I was still unemployed. There’s a sense of empowerment and achievement when working on solving problems through technology and coding.
Why did you want to get into digital?
I got into digital because I love technology and wanted to mix my creative skills into an IT career. I love how technology is always changing and how much logic goes through making certain things work. As a problem solver, I feel like IT is such a great industry to get the brain thinking, bringing out new ideas and ways to solve technical issues.
What benefits did the apprenticeship offer over other upskilling and academic courses?
Firstly, it helped me with communication and building up a network of connections in my career. I have the support of my managers, colleagues and apprenticeship coach to assist me with any issues I faced.
I feel secure to know that I am earning while learning, this has helped me with my accounting skills and learning how to save, budget and pay rent. This also helps me understand how much I want to be earning in the future and what career I want to be doing after the apprenticeship. I get to be in a real work environment where I learn how to greet colleagues and managers and how to dress in the office.
How did the programme blend learning with the role you have?
A lot of the things I learn in the apprenticeship are exactly what I needed for my role at Colt and vice versa. For example, learning about email nurturing in my apprenticeship has helped me with creating emails and understanding how a workflow works and how to edit websites has helped me with my coding exam.
What would you say to other women who are thinking of joining the apprenticeship programme?
Keep on learning even if others discourage you, look for a role that you can see yourself in. Industries are always looking for experience, skills and how you use these experiences in your personal life. This could be creating a website, managing a personal social media account and even creating a game or animation through coding. Also don’t forget to show your personality and don’t be afraid of being creative. Also, if you don’t do well in one part of the IT industry there are other routes you can try.
I struggled with doing back-end coding during these last 5 years and I found myself not being able to be as creative doing back-end. I then discovered about front-end coding where I can code website designs, I knew that this is something I wanted to do but I also wanted to implement some of my personal skills of Digital Marketing. That’s when I found out I could do some front-end coding in a Digital Marketing career. I am very grateful for Just IT for helping me kick start my career especially during Covid. My passion, personality and determination helped me win over the hearts of my company and Just IT and they have been great support throughout my apprenticeship.