This is the real story about how I got started in tech.
Many people come to me and ask how I got started in my career, how exactly did I go from a customer service representative for PayPal to a budding regional marketing executive at a giant tech company?
The answer is simple: I became an intern.
This is what shaped me into who I am today. I’ve been the breadwinner at home from a young age, having to juggle between university and working full-time for many years. This experience helped me develop an incredible grit and desire to move forward with my life, not only for me but for my family.
This has given me an impeccable work ethic, desire to learn and resourcefulness, qualities that companies (especially big ones) value very much.
You can’t expect to start your career at the top. One of my first tasks as an intern was to translate PowerPoint presentations from English to Spanish.
Nonetheless, this experience humbled me and I learned to live by feedback, this is actually what let me stay for longer after my contract was expired. I was constantly asking for questions, feedback and connecting with my peers.
The learning curve.
Being a minority in tech (20 year old woman) proved to be an incredibly steep learning curve for me. There were times in which I went home questioning myself, if this is what I really wanted. Of course it is! My life motto is to prove the world wrong. Beat the statistics.
But of course this wasn’t easy. I was the youngest in my team and I was always being second guessed by my older, more experienced peers. I, in turn, made sure to learn and prepare myself as much as possible and although I’ve never been able to get on their level (realistically) at least I earned their respect.
If I could give one piece of advice to upcoming interns (and especially girls) that want to enter the tech industry is: get an internship and be mentally prepared to struggle.
It’s going to feel unbearable at times, but it’s incredibly rewarding. You’ll change and grow not only professionally but personally as well. You just have to be open to it.