Amal overcomes obstacles to achieve her dream

Saffron Wildbore

~ 5min read

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~ 5min read

Originally from Birmingham, Amal took a leap of faith and moved to Bournemouth to pursue a career in tech. She graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Geology, but promptly decided that this wasn’t the route she wanted to take.

She joined mthree and dived into the world of programming. Carry on reading to find out more about her story.

> Experiencing a set-back in the beginning

Amal studied programming during her years at an all girls school, but this didn’t continue. “I did a Computer Science AS Level, but it almost got cancelled because there weren’t enough girls that wanted to do it. I was always interested in programming, but my thoughts of a career kind of stopped there.”

“But when I attended Uni, I decided to take some data science modules and I saw the fun in programming again and that reignited my passion. I decided to go into programming once I graduated. I really wanted to do something that I was hindered from doing before.”

I look at programming like a puzzle in a way, and I love solving puzzles. Every task you get is how can I solve this, how does this fit together and how does everything work? That ignited that passion in me where I could see myself doing this for the rest of my life. Every single day it’s something I enjoy.”

> Explaining her day-to-day role

Amal is now working as a Junior Programmer at an investment bank. “I’d say my day consists of 60% learning, 40% solving problems. I’m learning on the job with programming. You get given a problem. I find out what’s gone wrong, what are the requirements by speaking to other people on my team. Everyone is so helpful and gives advice.”

“I’ll then do some research and apply that research to fix a bug, or implement a new feature. After that you might get a thing called a code review, which is where a Senior Programmer will look over your work and give you tips. Then I’ll review it and it will get put into production and you can see what you’ve done as can the rest of the company.”

“It’s really nice to see, I work more in the front-end so I can see every change I’ve made. It gives me a confidence boost to see that I managed to do that! It's making people’s lives easier day-to-day.”

> Achieving excellence already

Amal is exceeding expectations in her role, whilst enjoying what she’s doing. “Right now, I’m converting to full-time with my company through mthree. That’s probably one of my biggest achievements. I honestly never imagined that I’d be in the position I’m in given the background I’m from and my life circumstances, seeing where I am now makes me very proud of myself. I never thought I’d achieve it and there’s still so much more to learn and progress, but I feel like I’ve got a good start.”

“I want to continue learning and become certified in the Cloud. I want to become more of an expert, continue learning and take on harder projects. Where I work is basically a tech hub, it's brilliant. The guy next to you could be doing something amazing that you have no clue about, you can speak to him and learn something completely different.”

> Celebrating how far the industry has come

Despite tech being considered a typically male-dominated industry, Amal is hopeful about the industry. “Where I work now, there’s potential. They do their best with diversity, they’re very good with it. Our team has a lot of women in it, who also came through mthree, so I came in with other women around me.

“There are some challenges, just in day-to-day life, there are different attitudes to men or women. We have different life experiences. I also come from a different cultural background, where there is expectation to get married. There are other women in the company that come from the same background that I can talk to about juggling a career whilst being a full-time Mother or Wife.”

“Because I’ve been fortunate enough to go into a team that’s women-dominated, a lot of those challenges have been removed for me. Looking back to my time at school where my A-Level nearly got cancelled because women weren’t encouraged to go down this path, it could’ve changed my career and sent me completely the other way.”

“Some of my female friends have said studying Computer Science at University is very isolating, as there’s a lot of men on their course. But my experience was completely different. I work in a really nice company, but there are places out there where a lot more needs to be done.”

“Any type of diversity encourages different ways of thinking, if there’s a large majority of people from the same background in a sector there tends to be a similar way of thinking. People from different backgrounds will have different ways of thinking and it brings more creativity. It creates a more productive and more innovative environment.”

> Discussing advice for other women interested in tech

Amal has noticed that the best thing you can do is get to know people and ask for support. “There’s a woman in my team that I joke is my ‘work Mum’, she is amazing. When I first started, she was somewhat of a mentor to me. She helped ease me into the role and support me with my day-to-day. She is my role model in the sense that she has two children, she’s a full-time working Mum and she’s literally like Superwoman to me. She really looks after everyone, she’s always there to help. She gives me confidence to pursue things that I may not be confident in pursuing. She has showed me that you don’t have to sacrifice one part of your life in order to achieve another part”

“The best thing I can say is try and network as much as possible. Women in the industry are very eager to help other women get into tech. Do a lot of side projects to showcase your knowledge and skills and get in touch with as many people as you possibly can.”

“Go to conferences, events, anything you can find. Most people now notice that there’s a difference and want to work on the gender gap in tech. Everyone wants to help and change that from what I’ve seen. There’s a lot of change being done. If you can show people that you know your stuff and you’re interested, many people will help you to get to where you need to be.”

Follow in Amal’s footsteps and get your foot in the door with our current openings today!

Saffron Wildbore is a Senior Marketing Executive at mthree. She has worked in marketing, specialising in creating content for over 4 years. Saffron focuses on writing tips for graduates, Alumni interviews and more!


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