I like this quote by R.S. Grey because it helps empower women to believe that whatever they put their minds to, they can do!
There’s a lot I wish to write about, including some of my passions like netball, rock climbing, Oztag, about a movie (I recently watched Aladdin, which I thoroughly enjoyed — yes, I’m a kid at heart!) or Cluedo — I bet I could beat you at it!
But I thought I should start with my job and talk a bit about my career, which I hope will encourage more girls and women to take up a career in technology. It’s a cause that I am deeply invested in and I really wish to see more women in a field which is clearly dominated by men today.
A bit about myself
I’m Emma Flanagan, 21 years old and currently taking part in a graduate program at Infosys — a global technology consulting company. Although it’s been just a few months, it’s been a learning experience that has taught me many important career skills.
After high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do. I spoke to a guidance counsellor, who, based on my good mathematics results and forward-thinking attitude, suggested that I looked at a degree in IT. I had a preconceived notion that IT would be super boring and would be a bunch of guys talking about video games (which don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of video game chat), but, after completing my Bachelor of Information Technology from Australian Catholic University, I learnt that IT is so much more than that. There are endless opportunities, from business consulting to blockchain and everything in between. For someone who has no set career path — a career in technology is definitely worth exploring.
Excited and anxious — graduation day feels
In my case, it has positioned me well for my first technology job today in Product Management with Infosys Finacle. It’s exciting! More so since my degree was focused around the business side of IT — I can see the skills helping me regardless of where my career takes me.
The first step is nothing less than a treasure hunt!
The job search can be stressful for many and I think I was lucky to have had a relatively short lead time. I had a plan in place and well before applying, identified potential suitors. And then, I had a distinct approach to each application — positioning my profile the best way for each role, which I think really helped.
I was successful in securing a few interviews and offers but decided that Infosys was the best place to kick-start my career. It’s been just a few months now but I’ve already had a fun and challenging learning experience, developing a good understanding of the tech industry and banking.
Ever wondered what joining a technology company is like?
My first few days at Infosys were very easy and relaxed — it was an introduction and it was good for all the graduate recruits to mesh together and learn about the company as a whole. The actual training was definitely challenging but in a very positive way. It has made me more confident in my abilities to work in a technology-based role.
For me, a person with minimal development knowledge and experience, learning Java for the first time was difficult but important. This especially helped me in my ability to learn other programming languages. It’s a huge stride in my learning journey, as at university, I had programmed only for a short duration.
I’m a few months into my new role and I really appreciate that my employer is focused on an equal opportunity, diversity at the workplace and our community. The inclusive values that help unite people from diverse backgrounds are key to a great workplace.
Personally, I’m looking forward to volunteering and creating awareness about digital skills, especially because I want to see more women in technology.
That's me! Sharing my experience with soon-to-be graduates
In terms of my career aspirations, I don’t have a fixed plan, per se, more so since I’ve just started my career and having a set dream job can lead to missed opportunities that could have led to better things — like Sheryl Sandberg says it’s a jungle gym out there.
Another aspect of my training is an always-on learning approach which I think is super cool!
During and after the initial training, I could access modules on the Infosys mobile learning application — LeX which makes learning on the move super easy through modular courses. It’s helped me learn Java from scratch and at the end of every module, there are these short quizzes — a great way to self-evaluate. Next, I’m looking forward to learning the latest in tech from 5G applications to Cloud adoption — learning should be a way of life.
Motivation — is more than having mentors and role models
When you decide to take up an aspiring career, you need to be motivated to ensure you’re always on top of things. The best way to stay motivated is to surround yourself with people who inspire you every day. And this does not have to be a high profile corporate leader or a celebrated professor. As an example, influencers in my life are the people who I choose to surround myself with — ranging from family, friends and colleagues. At work too, it’s great to be surrounded by like-minded people with a curiosity to learn.
When I’m not doing any of the above, I make the most of my office location in North Sydney. Sitting at a desk for too long can get boring. So I take a break, walk around and get some fresh air — it helps to keep my ideas flowing, improve productivity and keep those daily steps in check!