Welcome to another edition of IntelePeer’s Tech Tuesday series. This week Vanessa Medina, Solution Engineer, describes how some encouragement can lead you down the technology path, how diversity is becoming more valued in the industry, and how one class got her hooked on tech.
1. What first got you interested in working in technology?
Back in college I was pursuing another career, and it wasn’t going well, to say the least. One day, someone told me I should try and get into IT, since I always like computers and video games.
I’ve never been happier in my life. It was the best decision I made. Thanks to this career I was able to move to the city of my dreams – San Francisco, CA – when I was offered my first job in the Tech Industry as a Network Administrator Desktop Support.
2. What AI or machine learning capabilities are you most looking forward to?
I’m excited for autonomous cars to one day ferry us from place to place. Technology has come a long way, and still has a long way to go. Tech is changing rapidly, although it could take a decade or more to perfect all kinds of AI.
3. What was the most challenging aspect of your career and how did you overcome it?
Trying to get my first job in tech was challenging, but that never stopped me. I applied to so many jobs until someone saw the potential that I could bring to that company and my passion to learn. He told me that he’d rather hire someone without much tech experience but with drive and a willingness to learn, than hire someone with years of experience.
4. Any advice for women who want to join the tech industry?
There has never been a better time for women to be part of the technology industry. The industry is realizing the impact of diversity – both on the community at large and on companies’ bottom line. Don’t be discouraged by unfortunate events and stories. Be encouraged by the potential conversations about them, the progress made, and the problems we continue to solve.
5. What advice would you give your younger self who is just starting in the workforce?
Don’t ever give up and keep trying. What is meant for you will come at the right time.
Bonus: Who is your tech role model?
I always looked up to my brother, when I was at my lowest. He was the one that encouraged me to study IT and said to try it for one semester, so I did. I took my first programming class and fell in love with the potential right away. The name of the first programming class was “Hello world.” Three years later, I was graduating and made it to the Dean’s list twice.