Victoria turns curiosity into a career

Saffron Wildbore

~ 5min read

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~ 5min read

Victoria studied a film production degree, specialising in cinematography. After her undergraduate, she started working in project management, but discovered this wasn’t her passion. Vic had an urge to forge a new career for herself, stemming from her curiosity around computers and how they work.

Read our interview to find out more about her career journey.

> Using her curiosity to further her education

Although Vic pursued a degree seemingly disconnected from the tech field – cinematography – it actually required a fair amount of technological knowledge. “We had to measure how far the camera was from the subject being filmed and do some calculations to work out how much light needed to be used.”

Using maths and doing calculations was never on Victoria’s radar as something she particularly enjoyed before, but she listened to her curiosity and took it upon herself to do a coding course to find out if she liked it. “I did a Python course, it was very very basic , but it gave me a good taste of programming and I realised I wanted to know more. I found a Masters course that didn’t require a degree in Computer Science and I enrolled. I absolutely loved it!

Towards the end of this, I started looking for jobs to set myself up once I’d finished. mthree was one of the grad schemes that I applied for. I think I applied on a Monday and by Wednesday I’d been called to find out more about me. I asked lots of questions and the opportunity sounded really pleasing. It was a chance to learn another programming language, Java. From the research that I’d done I understood that Java was quite a well used language and it would be very beneficial for me to learn it in terms of career prospects.”

> Joining our women-only cohort

“I joined the first ever women-only programme that mthree ran and it was fascinating. We all came from different backgrounds, but we all had the same understanding as to where we wanted to be.”

“Our trainer would set up meetings with us to check that we understood the programme as it was very fast paced.”

“For me, I saw it as an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up, it was amazing to learn something and also get paid whilst doing it. It was made very clear that being on this course isn’t something we had to earn, we were there because they saw potential in us. They said, if you need help, speak out!”

Whilst learning in the women-only environment, Vic said that they had many interesting discussions about what that meant. “We spoke a lot about imposter syndrome and how we felt that we had to do everything right. It was like therapy, my time with mthree was absolutely fantastic!”

> Taking the leap into the working world

Whilst on the course, Vic was also prepped for interviews before she went for the real thing. “I had 2 or 3 rounds of just solid interview prep. They told me what I was doing well and what I needed to work on. Once they felt it was going well, they sent us out for interviews with the clients. It was fantastic, I think I probably wouldn’t have landed the role I’m in now without all the help. I felt very prepared.”

Vic now works in Identity and Access Management, a sub-branch of Cybersecurity at an investment bank. “My everyday role involves working on projects to improve my company’s current systems. I fix and improve certain things within my department.

I work on the UI and front-end features that support the API side of the website which helps support the back-end of the site. I love how I’m constantly learning and my team, they’re really helpful. Figuring out what I don’t know can be quite a struggle and frustrating.”

> Celebrating her achievements

Vic has already achieved great things in her current role, “when I first started the API on our system didn’t have any automated testing, it was done through the UI. One of the first things myself and others did was to implement a way to do that. It was great.”

“Knowledge versus experience is so different, it can be daunting. It’s natural to feel out of place. Because of how society is, women are encouraged perhaps to be a bit meek. When we’re put in a position to be confident in our abilities, it can be difficult, we question ourselves more, we’re not trained to shut down these negative thoughts in the same way.”

“I haven’t given up. No matter how hard, frustrating or tedious it can be I’ve continued to push on. I find asking for help a little bit intimidating, I think I suffer from imposter syndrome and always want to prove myself. But I’ve gotten better at identifying where I need help and asking for it.”

> Discussing her female role models

Vic really looks up to her amazing Mum, “She’s a single parent. She was a housewife, and when she split up with my Father she had to go back to University and get a degree in order to provide for us. She went to Uni when I was in college, and things were difficult for her but she never gave up. “

“She instilled in me tenacity, the importance of hard work and prioritising education. She made sure we learned to prioritise ourselves before relying on anyone in a relationship. She wanted me to be independent. She showed me what was possible, even though she had two teenagers and had to start again. I really look up to her.”

> Understanding the value she brings

Despite the industry she works in being considered male-dominated, Vic knows her worth. “I’ve never felt like there wasn’t a place for me. My team has 5 other women who came through mthree and we now outnumber the men.”

“I don’t see it as male-dominated. At my company there are many managers who are women. I think the reason it has been male-dominated is because the resources needed to learn the skills required for the jobs weren’t available to women. Now the barrier has been removed, it’s doable by anyone now, as long as you have a desire to learn. It’s such a cool industry to be in so I think it’s great.”

“Diversity and inclusion opens up the opportunity for multiple perspectives. In tech especially, it’s such a great thing. I’ve found that one problem can have many different solutions, so the more viewpoints we can have the more solutions and development. It’s so important to have people that think differently.”

> Advising other women and inspiring inclusion

“Just because you studied one thing doesn’t mean that you can’t go into a different field. You can change careers as many times as you want. Ask questions, do research, speak to people. The worst people can say is no.”

“Celebrate differences. Not everyone is the same, encourage, advance and pursue differences.”

If you’re inspired by Victoria’s story, discover 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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