Toni made the successful transition from snowboard instructor to Software Engineer, after many years on the mountain, with long days, low pay and inflexibility with family life. Toni decided to up-skill and embark on a career change, and the tech career option ticked all the boxes, both professionally and personally.
During the evening, Toni spoke about how the ‘learning by doing’ project work and industry internship component of her qualification were the highlights, and really solidified her skills knowledge and her confidence. She also spoke about how easy it is to transition from other sectors into tech.
“Whatever degree you do at university does not define what you will do for the rest of your life, so take that pressure off your shoulders. I know so many people in tech that studied tourism, or music, or a different discipline entirely, so don’t worry about making the wrong choice. Making the choice to further educate yourself will always be a beneficial decision."
Network network network!
Being in a class full of millennial males with lots of coding experience (times are changing!), Toni knew she would benefit by getting directly involved with the local tech sector.
Toni was the President of Computer Chicks while she attended one of Signal's partner institutions, the University of Canterbury. While there she was awarded three scholarships: the Google Anita Borg Scholarship, the Orion Health Computer Science Scholarship and the Women TechMakers Google I/O Scholarship.
She was also a committee member for the Christchurch Women in Tech group, organises a local security conference Christchurch Hacker Conference www.2018.chcon.nz and has been involved in organising Techweek events. (Watch this space .....Techweek19 is running May 20 - 26, and it will be amazing!)
The key takeaways from Toni's talk are:
- It's never too late to change careers,
- There are loads of tech career opportunities out there if you want them,
- It might not be super easy BUT you can do it!
If you or someone you know is looking for a career change, or would like to add tech skills to their existing degree, SIGNAL is hosting the next Tech Careers & Pizza night on Wednesday 30 January at 5.30pm, in both Christchurch and Dunedin. Bring a friend and come along to find out more about tech careers and how you can make the SHIFT to tech.
You can find more details and booking link for both events below, we look forward to seeing you.