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SheCanCode Spotlight Series: Adesuwa Osifo, Graduate Software Engineer, Experian

Adesuwa Osifo, Graduate Software Engineer, Experian

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Adesuwa Osifo is a graduate software engineer at Experian.

Adesuwa has worked for the company for the last seven months, after graduating from the University of Nottingham with a Computer Science BSc. While at university, she interned at the Anadach Group in the USA during her placement year.

SHECANCODE SAT DOWN WITH ADESUWA TO FIND OUT HOW SHE GOT INTO TECH, WHAT AN AVERAGE DAY LOOKS LIKE, AND HER ADVICE FOR OTHER WOMEN IN TECH.

HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR CURRENT ROLE? WAS IT PLANNED?

No, it wasn’t planned!

I was job searching and stumbled across Experian online. I was looking for software engineering jobs, but not at a specific company, and didn’t know too much about Experian until I looked into the company.  

The description of the graduate role really stood out for me. The coding languages, the structure of the graduate scheme and their development plan of soft skills – alongside the job specification – really appealed to me.

WHAT ARE THE KEY ROLES IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK, AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR CURRENT EXPERTISE? 

I develop and manage Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for some of the lenders that we onboard and work with. I also develop the user interfaces (front ends) and APIs of internal systems we use at Experian.

DID YOU (OR DO YOU) HAVE A ROLE MODEL IN TECH OR BUSINESS IN GENERAL?

I don’t have a particular role model in tech, but my family and mentors at my internship inspired me to become a Software Engineer.

I also worked in the MedTech field in my internship in America, which inspired me to get into the tech industry. I learnt that tech is used in nearly every other industry, and you can work on a wide variety of interesting solutions just by being a Software Engineer.

I also have family in the tech field, such as MedTech and FinTech, so I look up to them as inspirations for my career goals.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER, SO FAR? 

It would have to be presenting an internal system I developed using AWS to the whole of the Experian Marketplace, including tech and senior team leads.

It has also been great to see my coding changes go live and be used by customers and clients across the UK.

It was a super nerve-wracking experience, but honestly such a personal achievement of mine!

WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE WORK DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

At 9am I login and go through my emails to catch up on anything I may have missed. At 9:30am we then come together as a team to update each other on what we’ve done the previous day and the plan of action for the coming day.

I have to say getting away from my desk and going to the pool at lunch is a must in my workday!

ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC SKILLS OR TRAITS THAT YOU NOTICE COMPANIES LOOK FOR WHEN YOU’RE SEARCHING FOR ROLES IN YOUR FIELD? 

Yes, most definitely.

Problem solving is definitely a big one for my role. Communication skills are vital as well. I would say that being able to actually show how you demonstrate these skills in the role is key.

HAS ANYONE EVER TRIED TO STOP YOU FROM LEARNING AND DEVELOPING IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE, OR HAVE YOU FOUND THE TECH SECTOR SUPPORTIVE?

No, I don’t think anyone has tried to stop me, but I do think it can be daunting being a woman in the tech industry. But I’ve quickly found that I have such a great support network who are always pushing me to be the best I can be.

I’ve always found that people are extremely supportive, especially my teams and line mangers.

We also have mentors and buddy systems put in place which has been useful when navigating the role and finding my feet.

HAVE YOU EVER FACED INSECURITIES AND ANXIETIES DURING YOUR CAREER, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?

Definitely, I’ve had a few insecurities about being a woman in the tech industry, which I know is a common feeling for many other women in the industry. One of my biggest struggles has actually been public speaking, which is definitely not my strong suit. It can be so daunting and I worry that what I’m saying is not translating well to people who are listening…but I’m getting there!

I’m still overcoming my anxieties and insecurities, but I’m pushing myself to be more confident.

My current role is encouraging me to do this, and it helps that the people around me are so supportive and encouraging.

ENTERING THE WORLD OF WORK CAN BE DAUNTING. DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR ANYONE FEELING OVERWHELMED? 

Be yourself, don’t pretend be someone else. Someone told me that ‘you might not be the best fit for a company, but the company might not be the best fit for you.’ Think of you and what you truly want – this will help you find the workplace where you’ll feel comfortable.

I’d also say don’t get down if you get rejected – keep applying! It happens to everyone, and in the long run, you’ll find somewhere that is the right fit for you. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER WOMEN WANTING TO REACH THEIR CAREER GOALS IN TECHNOLOGY?

Believe in yourself. You are as good as everyone else and deserve to be in the tech industry as much as anyone else does.

Don’t be afraid to speak up and take up space.

You shouldn’t restrict yourself out of fear of rejection or lack of experience. Everyone brings different experiences to the workplace – try your best to embrace that.

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