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Yetunde Animashaun: from Economics & Early Years Practitioner to Tech Delivery Specialist & Founder

Social media handle(s): LinkedIn

A few words about me:

Hello! I'm Yetunde, a London native with a background in technology. Currently, I work as a Tech Delivery Specialist at Accenture, specialising in user research and content design. My true passion lies in User-Centered Design, and I consistently take on the role of challenging designs to ensure the products we create are truly customer-centric, inclusive, and accessible to diverse user groups.

Outside of my daily role, I have recently established a social enterprise focused on delivering workshops to underrepresented young individuals between the ages of 18 and 30. These workshops aim to enhance their confidence and equip them with the skills needed to secure sustainable employment in industries such as technology, digital, and corporate sectors.

In my spare time, I also find joy in mentoring young black males, offering guidance and support in their personal development and career journeys. I’m just happy to help people and that’s an area I’m passionate about! I also love playing sports, all things related to mental health and psychology.

Are there any professional experiences you've had that are quite unexpected compared to what you do nowadays?

Prior to joining tech, I used to be an Early Years Practitioner working in a primary school whilst I was undertaking my Masters. This experience provided a stark contrast to my current work in the tech industry.

Is your background more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or non-STEM related?

I would describe my educational background as somewhat STEM-related. I obtained a BSc in Economics followed by an MSc in Behavioural Economics. To be honest, I didn't find Economics particularly enjoyable during my undergraduate studies. However, I developed an interest in the intersection of Economics and Psychology, which prompted me to pursue Behavioural Economics for my postgraduate degree. Although it didn't fully meet my expectations, it was a valuable learning experience that ultimately steered me towards a career in the tech industry. In fact, I credit my Masters program for introducing me to the world of tech.

Where did your professional journey start?

My professional started during my university studies, I was first introduced to the world of technology through a module where we utilised a programming language and software to analyse consumer behaviour. This experience sparked my curiosity and combined my existing interest in Psychology with the use of statistical methods to understand and quantify human behaviour.

My intrigue grew when I discovered a graduate scheme opening in an organisation that I saw had conducted projects using video analytics to comprehend criminal behaviour. I found this application of technology fascinating, which motivated me to apply. Surprisingly, I managed to secure a position in the Technology scheme, and it proved to be a good experience into the realm of tech. It allowed me to witness firsthand how technology can positively impact people's lives and be utilised in practical, real-world scenarios. I gained a comprehensive understanding of the entire product lifecycle, worked in diverse roles including delivery and testing, and became immersed in the true essence of technology.

How did you get into tech and what motivated you?

Regarding my entry into the tech field, it was actually quite accidental. Originally, I had planned to join a different program at Accenture. However, due to external circumstances, I found myself presented with the opportunity to join the Technology Graduate Programme. And let me tell you, it turned out to be the best decision ever! Being part of the technology domain has been incredibly fulfilling because it empowers us to create a significant impact on people's lives. Working in technology enables us to tackle real-world challenges, enhance efficiency, improve communication, and make a positive difference in society.

Have you experienced any 'career in tech' challenges / stereotypes?

One of the primary challenges I've faced in the tech industry stems from being a Black woman and belonging to an underrepresented group. It can be disheartening when you don't see many individuals who look like you in senior positions. While my company excels in diversity and inclusion efforts, I have encountered situations where external contractors lack the same level of diversity. This sometimes exposes me to biases or preconceived notions they may hold about Black individuals.

Additionally, due to the uniqueness of my name, there have been instances where everyone's name is called except mine, simply because mine is deemed "difficult" to pronounce. It's a frustrating experience, but now I confidently speak up and ensure my name is acknowledged whenever this happens.

"Tech is very far reaching and it’s something that loads of people can learn and adopt. You don’t need to come from privileged or certain specific backgrounds to work and be successful in tech."

What you wish you knew before getting started in tech...

I wish that, before joining tech, I knew that there are so many different areas of expertises available within tech. With such knowledge, I would be able to make more informed decisions early on.

I was concerned about becoming a generalist, because I wanted to specialise in something as well. But, I knew from the start that software development wasn't the specialisation I wanted to pursue. In hindsight, I would have sought a broader understanding of the diverse range of roles and areas of expertise available in the tech industry. There is a wealth of opportunities beyond software development, and gaining a comprehensive overview of these options would have been invaluable. From data science to product management, cybersecurity to artificial intelligence, project management to user experience design, the tech industry offers a multitude of career paths.

This is one of the reasons why I started my social enterprise (Tech 432 - the name might be changing soon based on feedback) to demystify the roles that exist in tech. We try to bridge the gap and enlighten people on what the varied roles in tech look like.

What has been your biggest 'wow!' moment related to working in tech so far?

My biggest ‘wow’ moment has been seeing how tech is able to impact and shape things in the world that are important to me.

I worked on a large scale public sector project during the pandemic and I was able to talk to underrepresented groups about their needs. We uncovered a lot of useful findings that allowed us to shape the products to help these groups increase the uptake of this service.

It’s amazing to advocate for the needs of service users and see the impact of your work on real people. We were able to improve healthcare outcomes, create a more inclusive and accessible application, and build sustainable solutions. Technology allows individuals to contribute to meaningful work that has a lasting impact.

What do you like / not like about working in tech?

What I like about working in tech is also related to what I don’t like - the variety of projects you get to work on.

Sometimes you don’t know what you will be working on next, in what area, and how demanding the client will be. But despite this, I do really like learning and get bored easily so being in tech works well for me now.

"Working in technology enables us to tackle real-world challenges, enhance efficiency, improve communication, and make a positive difference in society."

What's been your favourite / most memorable / funniest 'career in tech' moment so far?

My favourite and most memorable moment has been working on the large scale public project during the pandemic I mentioned previously. I was learning loads during this project and because of the pandemic we got to see how it impacted the real world quite quickly.

I’m also happy that I’ve made some great friends during my time working at Accenture - to me it’s incredible to work with so many amazing people and being exposed to a wide network of people working in tech.

And to wrap up, is there any advice you'd like to give to others interested in a career in tech?

The advice that I’d like to give others is to always be and stay curious when it comes to tech. Look out for what’s the next big thing in tech as it’s always changing and it’s good to be part of that change.

I’d also advise to keep your options open. Tech is very far reaching and it’s something that loads of people can learn and adopt. You don’t need to come from privileged or certain specific backgrounds to work and be successful in tech.

Lastly, I encourage you to pursue your interests and explore the diverse range of roles that exist within the tech industry. It's important to note that there are numerous non-tech positions where you can thrive and succeed. Roles such as Scrum Master, Product Manager, Data Analyst, and many others offer exciting opportunities. I recommend delving into research and reading about these roles to gain a better understanding of their responsibilities and to broaden your knowledge of the various career paths available in tech.


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