Spotlight on women in ICT – Jean Anderson

Jean Anderson studied HND Administration and Information Technology as a mature student and took on the challenge of a complete career change.  We asked her about her journey into ICT.

Jean AndersonWhat did you do before going to college? 
I worked for the bakery in Tesco. It was my sister who encouraged me to go to Ayrshire College. She had already attended and secured a job a medical secretary, so I thought – why not give it a go!

How did you get into ICT? 
I got into ICT so that I could keep up to date with my teenage son. Technology was moving so fast and I did not really have much of an idea of what was going on and felt like I was being left behind.

What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
My confidence in my abilities has really grown. As a mature student, I was terrified at the thought of going to college, but I knew I had to do it as I wanted to be in a job that I liked and was financially better for me.

I learned that I was still capable of learning and that I had a lot more to give in the workplace than I had previously thought. Going to college has given me a new lease of life and I now have a new outlook in life.  It’s been the best three years!

Describe your job on a day to day basis. 
I am now a Housing Assistant at North Ayrshire Council where I do many different tasks in my job. I work on the computer quite a lot completing forms, working on spreadsheets and using databases.  I also use e-diaries, email and scanners on a daily basis. As well as the ICT side of things, I deal with the public over the counter and on the phone.

What advice would you give to others interested in a career in ICT?
I would tell them to go for it.  It’s interesting and the way forward for the future, as most careers have some sort of ICT involved in it.

I am going to be the oldest person there. I was, but at no point was this a barrier. I was made to feel at ease from the first day. My lecturers as they were excellent and encouraged and supported me 100%.

I now feel like the person I was when I was 20 – confident, outgoing and a valued member of society again!


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