emily-best-headshot2Coming into Netcompany a little over 6 years ago via the graduate programme, Emily arrived without a typical technology degree – instead she spent her university days studying Criminology and Psychology.

Despite this being her main study, she held a deep interest in tech and joined Netcompany after graduating in order to get involved in society-critical digital projects.

As a Senior Infrastructure Consultant, Emily acts as a Stakeholder Manager, bridging the gap between the client’s requirements and the delivery teams, ensuring projects are on course to deliver successful solutions each and every time. Emily helped lead the NHS Covid Pass solution for England during the heights of the pandemic, leveraging the power of technology to provide a safety blanket for millions of people.

Emily has also been a crucial proponent of the success of the DCC Faster Switching Programme whereby all UK citizens are set to be able to switch energy providers in just 24 hours, something that historically took around 2 weeks. These projects, along with a few others (National Highways, Home Office, Meggitt and Rolls Royce) not only show Emily’s adaptability, but her team spirit in steering overall team success.

Aside from her day-to-day activities, Emily holds a real passion for making tech more accessible to a wider audience and has put herself in the driver’s seat to mobilise and lead associated social value initiatives for local communities. Spearheading Netcompany’s alliance with Ahead Partnership (a social enterprise), Emily helps to steer members from across the business into secondary schools in the Leeds city region to lead career panels, practical skills workshops, and speed networking for audiences from 11-18 years. Emily has been running these activities for over a year now, proving to be pivotal in addressing the digital skills gap and showing younger audiences what a career in tech can look like for them – creating a more diverse digital talent pipeline in years to come and giving equal opportunities regardless of gender, ability or digital backgrounds.

Not only is Emily active in uplifting external communities, but she is also a core member of many internal activities, helping to set up groups like the LGBTQ+ and Women in Netcompany. These groups run regular sessions to celebrate one another and bring individuals together from across the business who might not have ever crossed paths otherwise – creating a great sense of community and comradery across the entire organisation.

How did you land your current role? Was it planned?

Like so many graduates, I left university not really knowing which direction to go in or what I wanted to do next. With a degree in Criminology and Psychology, I applied for countless entry-level and graduate positions, but as they are often few and far between and highly applied for, I didn’t make the cut. Needing to get some money behind me, I took a sales assistant role at LEGO for a few months while I decided on my next steps. I saw an opportunity to apply for a graduate role at Netcompany and decided to go for it, purely because it aligned with my interest in the tech industry. I have always enjoyed a challenge and working in a fast-paced environment, with real-world implications.

What are you most proud of in your career, so far?

I have been a part of many society-critical digital projects, such as assisting with the NHS COVID Pass solution for England during the pandemic. This was highly rewarding, as I played a part in creating a safety blanket for millions of people who didn’t, or couldn’t, leave their homes.

Outside of your day-to-day activities, what else do you find enjoyable or proud of?

I’m very proud to be a core member of many internal activities at Netcompany. In particular, I’m proud of the community, ‘Women in Netcompany’, where we can celebrate each other’s achievements, learn from one another, and have a safe space to really talk about the issues in the tech industry.

I have a deep passion for making tech more accessible to a wider audience. I also play a part in spearheading Netcompany’s alliance with Ahead Partnership, where I steer colleagues to secondary schools in and around Leeds. We aim to showcase the wonderful world of digital and ‘techy’ careers to students, highlighting all possibilities and opportunities to the younger generation, and it makes me proud to say that I am a part of that.

Leading social value initiatives is pivotal in addressing the digital skills gap and showing younger audiences what a career in tech can look like for them – creating a more diverse digital talent pipeline in years to come and giving equal opportunities regardless of gender, ability, or digital backgrounds.

Are there any specific skills or traits that you notice companies look for when you’re searching for roles in your field?

The most important skill/trait to have is the willingness to learn. To be eager to keep improving yourself and increasing your skillset is incredibly important in any industry, but with tech, I believe it is even more so. The tech industry is constantly changing and there’s always new tech on the horizon, so the willingness to move with the tech and the people alongside you is imperative in this field.

What has been your most recent achievement?

Recently, I was lucky enough to become a TechWomen100 winner. After six years in the industry, I think it shows how supportive the tech sector can be. A bit of recognition goes a long way. It was a real honour to have been nominated by Netcompany, but then to be shortlisted by a panel of people who don’t know me is fantastic! To go on and win this award just shows how supportive the circle I have around me really is.

Have you ever faced insecurities and anxieties during your career, and how did you overcome them?

I feel there is a buzzword that epitomises how people feel at some point in their careers, and if you haven’t yet, I’m sure you will. That is “imposter syndrome”. The feeling that you’re not qualified and/or experienced enough to be in the role you’re in and quite often, that ends up being your career. I have definitely felt that way on more than one occasion and although it can keep you on your toes, it can definitely add to your insecurities too. Overcoming “imposter syndrome” is easier said than done, it takes a lot of self-praise (which can be uncomfortable), but it helps to tell yourself (and truly believe) that you are in this position because you earned it, you are the best person to do this job and you were chosen to do this! If you think there are areas, you can improve on – go for it! Netcompany does this really well, there are several academy courses and pop-up training sessions that you can enrol in to help fine-tune your skillset whilst levelling up your career.