What is your current Job Title or Role?
Head of Web/Director at elixel
What advice would you have for young women who are interested in a STEM career or job?
If you have a passion or interest in something make sure to follow it and use it to your full potential. STEM subjects are thriving and play some of the most important and influential roles in modern day life, and you could be a part of that. Take opportunities when you see them and have courage in your convictions.
How did you get to where you are today?
I had access to a computer at home from a fairly young age and took a keen interest in what it could do. I built my first website at the age of 11 and ever since then have wanted to pursue a career in development. I followed that path through school taking Applied ICT at A level and studied a degree in Digital Art and Technology at Plymouth university, including a placement year in industry as a Junior Web Developer. Following this I took up freelancing to continue working with my placement company, whilst also finishing my final year with my three friends and now fellow directors/colleagues. The idea of starting a business together using our digital skills was inspired by a module in final year and supported through the university's innovation centre. Since then we've built the business up together including hiring two new employees in the last year and building apps and websites for companies both nationally and in the South West.
What do you do on a daily basis in your work?
Day to day I am the Head of Web Development which means I manage, maintain and develop the majority of the website work that Elixel takes on. I've always enjoyed being able to use code to turn a blank page into something that looks good and works well, a pursuit I believe to be both technical and creative, which is why my main skill set is in front-end development. As a director of the company though I also have many other roles including looking after the money and accounts as finance director, handling HR and helping to define the business direction for the future.
Who or what inspired you to get into STEM?
My initial and biggest inspiration was my Dad. He has always had a keen interest in technology and how he can innovate and experiment with it. It was him making his website back in the late 90's that inspired me to make my site at 11 and he was always able to help me learn new ways to use technology such as voice transcription and stop motion video. Following that I have to give some credit to my teachers throughout school who gave me the opportunity to put my tech based skills to good use and encouraged me to continue developing them.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Technology is an ever evolving industry and as such you can't stand still. The fact that I get to keep learning new skills means work is always exciting and interesting, and it's ubiquitous nature means those skills are more and more relevant. Most of all though I love the aspect of creation about my job, using code to go from nothing to something new, functional and impactful give me a sense of making a difference.
What do you like to do outside work?
I've always been a musical person, and particularly enjoy singing so take part in the local theatre choir. In an attempt to stay fit I also discovered dance fitness, in my case Sh'Bam classes, which suits my musical side and is the most fun I've ever had exercising! I enjoy a bit of baking occasionally and love a good fantasy/sci fi TV series, film or book.