Social media handle(s): ___g.gee
A few words about me:
I’m a Design Researcher at dxw with a background in interior and graphic design.
Alongside my day-to-day job, I’m also a DJ (with gigs mostly around London and Leeds) and I also organise music events around the UK. Recently, I put together a boat party!
I love design, music, festivals and travelling.
Are there any professional experiences you've had that are quite unexpected compared to what you do nowadays?
→ Music Events Organiser
→ Interior & Graphic Designer
→ Luxury piercing Stylist at Harrods
→ Sales Administrator
→ And working at a horse farm in Wales :)
Is your background more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or non-STEM related?
Where did your professional journey start?
I studied Interior Design and being quite drawn to art, I also explored graphic design which I still occasionally do as a Freelancer. I’ve held a couple of roles over the years mentioned above and once I transitioned into tech in a sales administration role, I continuously worked towards bringing my design background to my tech career in tech, until I recently became a Design Researcher.
How did you get into tech and what motivated you?
I never thought about joining tech and ended up in the industry by chance. Before transitioning, I was considering going into project management. During this time, I spoke to a family friend who led delivery of digital projects at dxw. When I shared my CV to get some advice, she noticed my design background and suggested I consider joining dxw to help with some of their work.
I started at dxw in a sales administration role. Over the years, I’ve had opportunities to get involved in design related work at dxw, such as branding projects. For example, I got to decorate our office space in Leeds with our new branding.
Alongside this experience, I also got to shadow other teams and projects, as well as joining team sessions across the company to learn more, especially about service design. Until recently when I shifted to the dxw Strategy team to take on a Design Researcher role which is what I’d been working towards for a couple of years.
Have you experienced any 'career in tech' challenges / stereotypes?
Tech is still quite male dominated which is why I’d never thought about a career in tech, especially going into a STEM role like coding or software development.
I didn’t know about or thought about the non-STEM related roles that are available within the tech industry. These have been the main stereotypes I was cautious about, but I’ve been quite lucky to work for a great company which has been a different experience than I’d initially expected.
"Even if you initially go for a role you might not be super interested in or passionate about, you can always learn along the way and transfer to something else later on."
What you wish you knew before getting started in tech...
The diversity of roles available beyond STEM opportunities and that not all working environments in tech (and in government) have to always be as male dominated as the stereotypes often portray.
What has been your biggest 'wow!' moment related to working in tech so far?
Joining a Women in Tech conference in Amsterdam alongside six of my female colleagues.
And becoming a Design Researcher!
What do you like / not like about working in tech?
I like the opportunities to help public sector clients solve problems and challenges through design and tech.
What I don’t like is working behind a screen for too long so it's important to take regular breaks and make sure you get outside.
"I didn’t know about or thought about the non-STEM related roles that are available within the tech industry."
What's been your favourite / most memorable / funniest 'career in tech' moment so far?
I think my favourite, most memorable and funniest career in tech moment would all fall under the Amsterdam Women in Tech conference.
And to wrap up, is there any advice you'd like to give to others interested in a career in tech?
Just go for it!
Even if you initially go for a role you might not be super interested in or passionate about, you can always learn along the way and transfer to something else later on. There are many courses and opportunities to take advantage of, like learning to code if you’re interested in that.