Tell us a fun fact about yourself
I’ve recently started learning to play the flute.
Tell us about your career journey so far
I worked in Sainsbury’s for a couple of years when I left school as there were no jobs. Then I started in a Civil Service (Government) office, and they were looking for people to join their IT department, so despite never having turned a PC on (1990s) I applied. They were based in Devon, so I moved from West London. The organisation trained me in various technical areas and I realised I liked the problem solving, thinking aspects of IT, so progressed through different technologies. In 2015 I saw an opportunity in Manchester, so I applied for that and moved again. It was a less technical and more strategic and managerial post, but still understanding the technologies. That didn’t work out, so I moved to Edinburgh to do something similar. 18 months ago, I moved to a job managing a technical support team on the technologies I used to support. So I understand the technical aspects of what my team do, which helps.
What was your favourite subject in school and why?
English, I like words and using my imagination.
What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?
I needed to have a degree to apply for my job, but the most useful subjects are related to the technical aspects of the job and an understanding of people and psychology. Qualifications wise I had industry qualifications for IT Service Management, (called ITIL) and technical experience in the software.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I like the variety, I can be supporting my team who are trying to resolve a major incident on the software, or catching up with them to find out what work they are doing and where they see their careers progressing. I can be discussing upgrading the software, or marketing the area to the wider organisation.
What is a normal day in your role like?
First thing I will check any approvals I have waiting. That can be for my team being on-call to support the systems, or having done overtime, or putting their timesheet in. Then I have meetings about what changes we are putting in and what issues have arisen overnight. Then I might be doing regular catch-ups with my team, talking to another team who want to work with my team, discussing with an application support team how they can support our coming change. I might be having a team meeting, with my team or with other Support Managers, preparing for a session with the Women in Technology group (where I’m a co-chair) or preparing to sort out contract renewals. If there is a major issue with the systems all the above goes out of the window and we focus on that.
Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?
There are a variety of IT courses freely available online. Open.edu has some good ones, such as one on IT and Computing: