Tell us about yourself.
So, I am a woman who knows what she wants. I’m pretty open minded and relatable to most. First gen Nigerian American making moves in the Lone Star State (Texas). I am an IT Professional specifically in cyber-security and I absolutely love it! One day soon, I will be launching my IT consulting company where I will be teaching IT amongst other things to those who are interested to learn.
How did you decide to get into technology?
I was actually thrown into IT. I initially wanted to go to Medical school and I never thought that I would end up in technology. I truly believe that I would have been a doctor by now. I joined the military, one thing led to another and [BAM!] the rest was history.
How would you describe your experience in the industry so far?
It has been interesting. I have had my up and downs. There was a huge learning curve from coming from a biology background into technology. However, as time went on, I have become all-in on tech.
What does a typical day in your job look like?
Honestly, the day starts with me popping open my laptop to check emails and respond to issues that come up on a high level. On some days, I will have some client work or calls scheduled. If I do, I will typically review their information to familiarise myself with their details about 30 min before the call is due. That usually takes up some time in my day. Once all emails, meetings and call are done, I do my work for the day. I also do a whole lot of homework!
Has your expectation of what the tech world is like matched the reality? How?
No, it has not matched the reality. At first, I wanted to be completely technical, but then I quickly realise that I am better at managerial roles. I totally thought that I was going to be a hacker, typing all fast and stuff. That is definitely not the case at the moment.
I also thought there was going to be a lot staring at the computer screen, but I actually get to interact with people all day.
How do you navigate working with men daily (if you do) and how do you make sure to get your voice heard?
Well, with me being in the military, I deal with men on a daily. A lot of men feel as if I am not competent enough to be in the same room with them so I do have to prove myself worthy, but at the end of the day I know who I am and I am very comfortable with my knowledge so I don’t walk in a room feeling timid or scared.
I walk into a room like I am the smartest one there.
Also, in order to get my voice heard, I make a lot of suggestions on how things should be changed. People don’t like change and it makes them uncomfortable, so, my goal most of the time is to make all of them uncomfortable so that they can hear me. Weird strategy but it works.
If you could change one thing about your journey in tech so far, what would it be?
If I could change one thing in my journey it would be becoming more technical as soon as I got into the industry. When I got into tech, I was so focused on running things and learning about the industry from a management perspective that I missed out on all the basic technology skills that I needed to gain. So, I am now having to play catch-up to learn the back-end side of things.
What was the best professional advice you ever received?
When I became an IT project manager, I was responsible for taking all the minutes during each meeting. The VP told me; “trust me learn how to take these minutes and you’ll always be organised and ahead of the game”.
Good advice but I still suck at taking minutes!
What advice do you have for younger ladies aiming to pursue a career in technology?
Put your heels on, walk in there with your head high, shoulders back because you got this. Do what you have to do and GET MONEY.
Any other comments?
DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT LET ANYONE TELL YOU, THAT YOU CAN NOT DO THIS. This industry was made for us, matter of fact we may just be better at it.
I would like to send a massive thanks to Omi for taking the time out to answer the questions above. I enjoyed learning about your story and I hope you get the hang of taking minutes soon! You can follow Omi on her socials listed above.
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