Helen Fraser has been recognised as a finalist at the Information Age Future Stars of Tech Awards which aim to inspire, celebrate and empower the next generation of UK female technology leadership. We caught up with Helen before the big event last night to speak about her achievement and how she started her career in technology.
“I didn’t always know I wanted to work in technology. It wasn’t until I went travelling that I realised I wanted to pursue a career in the field. I decided to complete a Masters in Information Technology from Birkbeck, University of London which then encouraged me to start my career in software development. I struggled to find an IT position even with a Masters in IT and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Sheffield, until I met with an FDM representative at my annual careers fair and knew it was a great opportunity for me.
I joined FDM in February 2017 and completed three months of training before being placed at a large financial institution. I spent a year there, working as a High-performance computing (HPC) and Cloud Engineer, where my days consisted of tackling problems which were constantly arising, a lot of coding and undertaking research to solve each problem. I have recently started a new role at Morgan Stanley as a software developer where I have been able to develop my skills further.
Looking back at my time with FDM so far, I cannot believe that I have become a software engineer. The programme has given me the opportunity to work for huge companies I wouldn’t have been able to work for otherwise. Being a woman in the tech industry is a hot topic, I find it really interesting to see how women are encouraged to pursue a career in tech, especially here at FDM. I have had the chance to get involved with not only internal events and initiatives but external as well. In 2017 I was invited to sit on a panel of 50 inspirational women which was an incredible experience and something I thought I would never have had the chance to do. This year FDM sponsored the Digital Skills Award at TeenTech, where I was able to support the initial judging phase and help shortlist a category.
Being a finalist at the Information Age Future Stars of Tech Awards is such a huge achievement for myself, I was incredibly shocked when I found out and I even said ‘are you sure there’s not another Helen Fraser at FDM?!’ I want to say a huge thank you to Lynda Feeley who got me involved within FDM’s Women in Tech initiatives. Without Lynda I certainly wouldn’t have had the confidence to put myself forward for the award.
My advice for anyone that is looking to grow their career in technology is you must be willing to learn. It took me a while to understand you are never going to be 100% confident as the industry is constantly changing so you have to adapt. Learning is key.”
Read more about our Women in Tech initiatives
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