Earlier in the month, I collaborated with Strathclyde Women+ in Tech to delivering a session on getting started in STEM and showcasing data literacy.
The session was joined by a wonderful and diverse mix of people, who all wanted advice and guidance about taking the next steps into STEM; whether it be looking for a job, CV guidance, or advice about networking and building a presence on social media.
The main pieces of advice I shared were:
- Building your own brand is important when you want to establish yourself. Utilise LinkedIn, Twitter, Github etc to leverage your impact in the community.
- It’s always a great idea to have examples of your technical capability at the ready, to showcase your skills and build up a portfolio to record all your talents.
- Don’t stress over your CV. Your CV doesn't need to be exactly two pages or a replica of one you saw at university. Personalise it, make it your own and ensure that the information on it is concise and true
As always, my top piece of advice was to be yourself. Never put on a façade when attending interviews, or networking and always be authentic.
The session lasted just over an hour and was followed up with a lively question and answer section, with the most popular questions being around how to get started in the tech and data industries.
The most popular question was how to get started in the industry. This is a common concern, but easy to overcome if you have the right advice.
Firstly, network, network, network. Immerse yourself in the industry, meet decision makers, get to know cool organisations and figure out what you want to do. From there, connect with people on social media, expand your network and share interesting and relevant content. Attend meetups and events, be active and ask questions. Knowledge is power and the more involved you are in the community, the better! By doing this, you will increase your understanding, meet potentially influential people and become a sought-after individual.
For many people, taking these new steps into their career, can be a daunting process, but with societies and support from organisations, these steps seem smaller and more manageable.
So, remember that Scotland’s data science and technology community is small, kind, welcoming and always working to be more diverse.
Thanks to Kye Tan, President of Strathclyde Women+ in Tech, for having me.