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IT's not just for the boys!

Female STEM students looking to forge successful careers in tech.

Amira Remadna

Amira met IBM at IT's not just for the boys! Since then she has secured her dream security placement with IBM

My name is Amira Remadna and I am second year student at Oxford Brookes university; studying a combined course- computer science with business management. During my studies it took me a while to realise what I really wanted and what my passion is. The support I received from family and friends and TARGETjobs IT’s not just for the boys! event really helped this process.

I have always been a maths girl, which lead me to study maths stream at secondary school. At the very last minute before applying through UCAS I changed my personal statement and my course from foundation degree in science to maths with business management information, international business and research studies- in order to have a business management and computer science degree.

After my first year at university and getting involved in societies especially being the Oxford Brookes faculty ambassador for both departments (business school and computer science) I started to lean towards the computer science route. I attended IT’s not just for the boys!, which is a special event ran by TARGETjobs, designed exclusively for female students who are looking to find out more about opportunities within technology . It was an excellent day and it made me realise how big the sector is and the amount of different opportunities available. At the end of the day you gain such confidence and inspiration you realise that you can achieve anything regardless of your gender.

When I first decided to apply for a placement I had very little confidence because I had no work experience related to technology. I thought it would be impossible for me to get experience as I knew other students already had a lot of experience. However I did not give up, I decided to start working and build my CV before applying. The event extremely boosted my confidence and has allowed me to develop as a candidate and helped me to secure my placement.

My dream job has always been with IBM and luckily for me they happened to be one of the companies that attended the event. During the day students participated in a team challenge, which was a perfect chance to showcase my skills to IBM. The longer I spoke to IBM representatives and current graduates on their schemes enabled me to gain more information from them, which helped me stand out from the crowd. It was simply the perfect chance to meet IBM and learn tips for their applications. Moreover, I spent all day interacting with various companies and great people such as senior managers at Dell.

Straight after the event I applied to IBM and it was my one and only application, so I put in all my efforts, to get my dream job. After passing the first stage of the application form, I attended many interviews where I showed my interest in security. Each stage of the application grew more challenging, until one day I received an email stating I had passed the assessment centre, where I then received an offer for a security role interview.

My interview went well, despite the fact I am not studying a security degree. Nevertheless, it was exactly the job I wanted and after a few days I called IBM and I told them that I’m ready to take the challenge and willing to learn before the final interview. Within a short period of time I was able to learn Linux and various other technical systems, which I believe enhanced my application and prepared me extremely well for the interview. Shortly after my interview I received the news that I secured the job! I was one of three students who secured a placement with IBM and the first and only Oxford Brookes student to secure a role within security. I am now extremely excited to start my role with IBM on 28th June and grateful to the IT’s not just for the boys! event for helping me in gaining the confidence to land my dream job!