Welcome to another edition of IntelePeer’s Tech Tuesday series. This week Angela Gurka, Mid-Market Account Manager, shares her tech journey, tactics for overcoming hurdles, and words of advice and encouragement.
1. What first got you interested in working in technology?
I remember when I was in elementary school and got my first IBM computer that ran with a DOS operating system. It was thrilling to learn that I could do various functions with a few simple commands, and I wondered what else technology could accomplish. I explored and eventually ended up deleting the entire operating system with my exploration, but the experience opened a door to technology.
I did not immediately go into technology, but my career path migrated in that direction. I knew this industry was where I was destined to be in the long term. It’s an exciting time to be in technology with its constant evolution. Working for IntelePeer allows me to witness how impactful technology can be for our customers.
2. What AI or machine learning capabilities are you most looking forward to?
AI and machine learning have come a long way since inception, and the potential capabilities are limitless. I am most interested in seeing how AI will shape our future environment and, more specifically, how we communicate. We already see many of these changes coming to fruition in the business world and our daily lives. The ability to interconnect the community through communication based on preferences and machine learning is a monumental leap in such a short time span.
3. What was the most challenging aspect of your career and how did you overcome it?
Every career has difficulties, and mine is no exception. One of the biggest challenges for me was when I landed my first tech role in software sales. I walked into the office with confidence, and by the end of the first week my confidence began to wane. Despite reading tech journals and reviewing everything I could find on the company’s products, I felt as though they were speaking another language.
This was new to me. Listening to various customer discussions, I thought I would never grasp all the information needed. It would take about another week for me to determine my drive and the passion for tech would help me succeed.
I strategized and created goals I wanted to reach – personally and within the organization. By week three I was implementing my strategy. I set up meetings with team members in each department to get a better understanding of the technology. I felt stronger and confident at the end of that first month. I recognized that learning will always be an ongoing process, especially in the technology industry. The key is to embrace it with confidence and believe in your abilities.
4. Any advice for women who want to join the tech industry?
The industry is growing and continuing to grow. AI and machine learning are quickly becoming an essential need for most organizations with various roles needed to support this technology among other aspects in tech.
Research the types of roles that fascinate you, learn as much as you can on the subject, and find a mentor that can help guide you on your path. Do not be afraid to take on new challenges that test your abilities even if they are not exactly what you are looking for today. That experience may be pivotal later in your career.
5. What advice would you give your younger self who is just starting in the workforce?
I would tell myself that learning is a lifelong process and to take on more challenges without trepidation. Careers will always have ebbs and flows, but remember to keep goals in mind and keep moving forward.
Bonus: What podcast are you currently listening to?
I am currently listening to Women in Technology podcast and a fan of the organization.