From history to tech, with Sparta Global

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Daisy Rickson joined Sparta Global in April 2021, at a time where so many graduates were continuing to struggle starting careers. Still facing the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic and its impact on her early careers opportunities, Daisy became one of a number of Spartan trainees to throw themselves into our remote technology training programme.

 

We asked Daisy to share her story; how did a non-STEM graduate, looking to kickstart a career in one of the toughest job markets of all time, become a passionate young woman in tech?

 

A shaky start

Picture this: it is 29th July 2020. You have just received your History and Politics degree from UEA in the post. You are basking in that sweet glow of achievement, proud that you have made it through a whole degree and come out the other side to tell the tale. You celebrate with a cold glass of prosecco (or 3) and go to sleep.

You wake up. It is July 30th, 2020. What now?

Figuring out what path to follow after graduation is hard enough. Couple that with graduating into a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and you have got yourself a recipe for an existential crisis. Burned out after months of rejections, I was all but ready to give up completely, figuring that no company in a pandemic wanted someone with my level of experience.

 

A change in direction

I had always been interested in the political impact of tech and you would often find me peering over my Computer Scientist housemate’s shoulder as he built new applications. However, the extent of my own technical knowledge was connecting to the internet! Growing up, I never saw people like me being encouraged to pursue technical careers or even having tech careers suggested to them. Always placed in opposition to “essay” subjects, I thought that going into tech meant giving up my passion for being creative and thinking outside of the box.

Enter my friend Mason. After an impassioned chat with her about why we need more women in tech, she had a Eureka moment; “I know who can help you get into tech!”. This is when I found Sparta Global.

 

A new start with Sparta

After researching the company and their values, I realised that Sparta Global was made up of my kind of people! Representation is not just a trendy buzzword to them, but a meaningful goal to make a positive and lasting impact in tech. Through their Academies, they equip Spartans - from all backgrounds - with all the necessary tools  they need to excel in the space. I sent over my CV and waited. Luckily I did not have to wait that long - they got back to me that day!

Like many women, this is when those all too familiar feelings of imposter syndrome and inadequacy hit me. Could I become a Spartan? I did not know anyone like me doing this.

That is when I stumbled across Bruno’s blog post about Sparta helping him to transition from drama to tech. Maybe I could do this! My recruiters, Alastair and Christine, saw my potential from day one and that my previous customer service experience could be transferable to help me kickstart a great career. When I secured my place on the Business Analysis stream, I did not have to leave my creativity behind. Surrounded by colleagues from many disciplines and backgrounds, I finally realised that I do belong in this world.

The training has been intense at times but my trainer, Zoe, and other colleagues on the equality, diversity, and inclusion side of the business have been so supportive and genuinely believe in my abilities. I am so proud in what I have been able to achieve in such a short space of time. I have gone from having no coding or business experience to being a SQL aficionado who knows the ins and outs of the Business Analysis Process Model! Sparta’s keen focus on interview prep and client readiness also helped me land a placement with a world-class client where I soon hope to put all my knowledge to use. What once started as a pipedream, has become my reality!

 

Being a woman in tech

Role models were seriously lacking for me when trying to enter this space and contributed to my feelings of inadequacy. Even today, 78% of students cannot name a single famous woman in tech. By putting my experiences to paper (or screen!), I hope to demonstrate to other women who may not believe there is space for them or that they don’t have the right skills, that they can do it too. All my experiences before today have gotten me to this point. My experience and those of my colleagues at Sparta, have shown me that there is no “correct” or “official” way to enter tech.

Sparta is paving the way for talented people from non-traditional backgrounds to thrive in tech, so if you only take one thing from my ramblings, then please let it be this: If I did it, so can you!