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May Spartan of the Month: Florina Mihai

After studying Criminology, Policing, and Investigation at Birmingham City University, Florina embarked on a career change after joining Sparta Global in January 2023. Learn more about Florina's journey to Sparta Global, her training experience, and what she enjoys most about her current role in the tech industry below…

Where did you study at university and why did you join Sparta Global?

I studied Criminology, Policing, and Investigation at Birmingham City University, graduating with a BSc with Honours in 2021. I later joined Sparta Global in January 2023 as part of the DevOps Engineering cohort.

How did you decide Sparta Global was the right career move for you?

In summer of 2022, I decided to embark on an "IT essentials" course at the recommendation of a friend. Due to the respective course, I got the opportunity to enrol as an intern in the Commonwealth Games 2022, as a service-desk analyst, dealing mainly with hardware configuration.

After my 2 months at the Commonwealth Games, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in tech. Luckily, one of my good friends took the Sparta Global DevOps boot camp during COVID-19 and recommended me to investigate it, if I was serious about a career switch into tech. I believe that was the moment I decided that Sparta was the right career move for me.

How did you find your training at the Academy, and how did your training prepare you for work?

Training at Sparta Global has been extremely intense, particularly for someone like me, coming from a social sciences education background and a long-term career in the customer service/hospitality field. Although I had exposure to the tech field due to the course I took, the tools and concepts covered in the boot camp were far more advanced and complex than I could have imagined, but I kept going.

I was studying and practising in my own time, and eventually, I caught up with the more experienced students in the cohort. Before I knew it, 6 weeks into the boot camp I got offered a position with one of Sparta’s clients!

Being placed with a client has been even more nerve-wracking than the boot camp itself, but the knowledge I gained during training allowed me to understand my client’s complex estate and start making contributions to their platforms within the first few months of placement. So, the training has been stressful, but well worth it, given that it allowed me to set a foundation upon which I continue to build new skills and knowledge every day while being on client site!

Can you tell us about the connections you have built through Sparta?

I’d like to believe I developed quite a nice network since joining Sparta. The colleagues I have been in the same cohort with are an amazing group of young and successful engineers, all spread across several different companies and smashing it daily.

The staff at Sparta Global are an outstanding group of people to be connected with, alongside the team that I am part of on the client site being an absolute gold mine. All the engineers and architects I work with are an infinite source of knowledge and having them as part of my network allows me to learn more and more every day and discover new tools and technologies.

Are you enjoying working in the tech industry and if so – why?

I am enjoying working in the tech industry! It is such a journey. Not a day goes by that I don’t get to learn something new. Is it scary? Yes, absolutely! Some days I worry that I don’t know everything that I want to or should know and looking at the senior developers/architects around me makes me feel like I know even less than I do. But I know it takes time, patience, consistency, and hard work to get to a level where you are confident of your capabilities and skills. I am yet to get there, but so far, I am enjoying this journey of constantly learning and improving myself.

Do you feel you now have the passion and skill to carve a long-serving career in technology?

I believe I have always had the passion to do anything that I put my mind to, so I believe it will never be a question of passion, dedication, or willingness.

I take in every piece of information and advice that comes my way, I embrace any opportunity to put myself in uncomfortable situations of having to do things I might not know how to do yet, and, where possible, I dedicate my free time to studying so I can solidify my knowledge on specific tools or technologies.

So, overall, I may not yet have all the skills, but I do have the passion and dedication to build that skill set that will carve a long-serving career in Tech.

What are you looking forward to doing in your new role?

I believe everything I thought I would be doing in this role; I have done. More importantly, I have been doing things I had no clue I would/could be doing, so that is the fun part of it. In general, I look forward to getting involved in anything that is required. I am not picky!

How did it feel to be named Spartan of the Month?

It was shocking, and I did not expect it at all! I kept seeing the posts on LinkedIn posted by Sparta about the Spartans of the month, and I never thought I would be the topic of one of those posts. 

I am extremely grateful for the recognition, and it makes me so happy to receive such positive feedback from my line manager for my work so far. This only fuels me to keep learning, keep improving, and keep doing my best. 

Would you recommend Sparta to other graduates and if so – why?

Definitely! It is a great way to get started in tech.

I believe that most people struggle to get their foot in the door, when starting/switching to a career in tech, even if they have the required skills to do the job. But Sparta does that difficult bit for you. Not only do they provide the foundational training in the specific tools required in the field of tech you are interested in, but they also help you secure that first job, which is by far the most difficult thing to do. 

For that, I would definitely recommend Sparta to the graduates out there who struggle to secure their first role, and even to those who are considering transitioning to a tech career and are unsure how to get started.

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