What does your job involve?
Due to the nature of the graduate programme my job involves a variety of different roles in different departments at Experian. My current placement is in the EITS (Experian IT Services) Risk and Compliance department. This is a governance team that is responsible for identifying and managing risks and issues, and ensuring that the people and processes within EITS are compliant with local regulatory requirements, organisational policies and external standards. We are also responsible for promoting best practices in process management, documentation, training, competencies, and awareness specific to information technology.
What is your favourite part of the role?
I am a fan of variety, so being able to dip my toes into a range of IT roles at Experian has been my favourite aspect of the programme. It would be difficult to find many other jobs where you are able to speak to so many different teams and meet so many different people, all while learning about a wide variety of technologies and processes.
Besides the potential for networking, I’ve also really enjoyed working with fellow graduates in the EITS community. Not only are they willing to offer insight and support to support my own personal development, we’ve also become close friends and regularly socialise outside of work.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
Being a graduate, you’re thrown in at the deep end, being forced to learn quickly and apply what you’ve learnt throughout university in a practical environment. It’s fun!
What inspired you to do what you do?
My early inspiration came from my dad. I was always interested in what he was working on and he would always involve me in his projects. He worked in IT and was a massive influence on my career choice. I have also been passionately following Alison Vincent. She completed her PhD in mathematics and cryptography, and started her career as a software engineer at IBM. She then spent 15 years working for Cisco, becoming Chief Technology Officer and has recently taken up the role of Global CISO for HSBC. Her journey gives me hope that I can follow in her footsteps.
What education options did you choose to get your role?
I’ve always enjoyed technology and the difference it can make to people’s lives. So much so that I chose to study Computer Science at the University of Warwick. I also completed my masters in Computer Science at Warwick. My degree provided exposure to a broad range of modules such as artificial intelligence, robotics, data mining, image and video analysis, networks and operating systems, to name but a few. There are so many avenues you can go down with Computer Science!
When you were considering your options, who influenced you either way? Were there any barriers to STEM in education?
When I was growing up I was always interested in the work my dad was doing. Even though I have grown up in a traditional Indian family, they have always supported my education and wanted the best for me, regardless of my gender. Yes, it is harder to find a positive female role model in IT, but my upbringing was fairly neutral so I wasn’t even aware of these kinds of barriers and they didn’t influence my decision. I just studied what I was interested in.
What would you say to girls considering their education options?
I would tell them to follow their passion, no matter what subject that falls into. Make sure you do what you want to do, and what interests you, not what others want you to do. I just want people to embrace their individuality, and make the most of their potential. It’s great to see people doing stuff that makes them happy.
What might put young women off a STEM career? And how can these barriers be overcome?
At a young age, a career in STEM is not something that many young girls consider because it’s been such a male dominated industry and there has always been a distinct lack of female role models. I think getting them interested in suitable subjects early is key, which is why it’s so great to see Experian inspiring the next generation of girls into these roles. For anyone considering STEM, I’d say embrace your talent, if it’s something you feel passionate about go for it!
What needs to change to retain more women in STEM careers?
I think a lot of changes have already been made, especially by having events such as International Women’s Day to raise awareness of STEM careers – encouraging more girls and women to consider the subject. It’s important to keep increasing exposure and showing girls the incredible opportunities and possibilities that come with a STEM career to ensure that they are recruited and retained.