23 August 2019

Women’s Month: Alumna: Fay Mpata

Women’s Month: Alumna: Fay Mpata Fay Mpata graduated from Belgium Campus iTversity with a Bachelor of Computing degree in 2016. She is currently working as a front-end developer at Twipe Digital Publishing, a Belgian technology company specialising in state-of-the-art digital publishing and analytics. We took some time to catch up with her. 1. Why did you choose to pursue a career in the IT field?Because of its versatility. Nowadays we can find IT branches (programming, data science, data analysis etc.) in almost all industries. This is an advantage for us as we can be useful anywhere, by providing solutions in diverse industries (food, fashion, music, medical, media etc.) while at the same time gaining knowledge in these different fields. 2. What is your fondest memory of your time at Belgium Campus?When I was in 1st year I was among the few students who got high marks for the first Programming 100 test. The test was about flowchart and according to the lecturer, being able to write a correct flowchart is important to be a good programmer. For me, who had never programmed anything before, coming to Belgium Campus and passing that test gave me the confidence that I could make it. 3. What has your experience at Twipe Digital Publishing been like so far?My experience at Twipe has been very exciting so far. Belgium Campus gave me a solid foundation to start my career and Twipe is giving me the tools to build on that foundation. I started as an HTML, Javascript and CSS developer and today I am doing Android and a little bit of iOS development. 4. What do you enjoy most about your job?Twipe counts among its client big European newspapers. As a front-end developer, my work is seen by thousands of people all over Europe on a daily basis. 5. What is your opinion on the role of women in IT?The ultimate purpose of IT in any industry is to support core processes, by providing solutions that enhance productivity. Men and women are different yet complementary. Diversity of thinking and ideas often result in better solutions. Women are more than welcome in IT as more and more women are becoming consumers of this technology. 6. Are there any women in IT who inspire you?I am inspired by all the women who had the courage to enter the industry before me and who made it accessible, and by all the women who fight against gender discrimination in the industry so that our work is given the same value as work produced by men. 7. What advice would you give to young women considering a career in IT?Follow your passion; do not be intimidated by the fact that you might be the only woman on the team. During my internship at Siemens and when I first started at Twipe I was the only woman developer but I didn’t let that intimidate me. Also, they should know that working in the IT industry is very demanding. Technologies evolve at high speed, therefore, to remain competitive in the job market you need to constantly learn and be aware of new technologies. 8. What are your goals for the future?I am from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and during my studies there was no IT course available to me. One of my future goals is to use the knowledge and expertise I am gaining abroad, to introduce young Congolese to IT. IT is playing a big role in the development of countries and I think that people, especially women, should be introduced to it at a young age so that they aware that it is a great career path with many opportunities.

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Women’s Month: Alumna: Kristél Hartmann

Women’s Month: Alumna: Kristél Hartmann Kristél Hartmann is currently working as a practice principle at RedScreen, a consulting company which works in the BI field. She graduated from Belgium Campus in 2018 with a Bachelor of Computing degree. We spent some time getting up to speed with her. 1. Why did you choose to pursue a career in the IT field?I wanted to be part of the small group of women who pursue their dream of being a young professional in a so called ‘difficult’ field. I dream of working until no one asks what my name is – I am still working on this dream. 2. Do you feel that Belgium Campus sufficiently equipped you to enter industry?Belgium Campus gave me a solid base to build on and eventually excel with. I had enough knowledge to enter a scary career and improve my knowledge and skills. 3. What is your fondest memory of your time at Belgium Campus?The moment we found out that our Penn State project won the Student Research and Design Competition, sponsored by the RERC on AAC: https://rerc-aac.psu.edu/2016-winner-of-student-research-and-design-competition/ 4. What has your experience at RedScreen been like so far?I have been absolutely blessed here. I have been promoted several times until receiving my own team / little practice to take care of. Hard work pays off at RedScreen and you get recognised for what you accomplish. I have gone on multiple training courses and I have been certified by some of our partner companies. 5. What has your experience as a woman in the IT field been like so far?I have had bad experiences where I was told that they don’t want a young woman doing the work. That just made me stronger as a woman, it made me work harder! There are tough times and there are great times. Being a woman in the IT industry, and being good at what I do, I am exceptionally proud of myself and my colleges for making it this far. 6. What advice would you give to young women considering a career in IT?If IT is your dream, being a woman shouldn’t stop you from pursuing it! Go for it, grab it with both hands and power dress! Put on red lipstick and high heels to celebrate your womanhood and make a powerful statement. Be you and go for it! 7. What are your goals for the future?My goal is to become a director at the company where I currently work. I believe that I have the capability to be part of the directors’ team – one day…

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Women’s Month: Alumna: Kholofelo Matimatjatji

Women’s Month: Alumna: Kholofelo Matimatjatji Kholofelo Matimatjatji graduated from Belgium Campus iTversity in 2015 with a Bachelor of Computing degree. She is currently a senior business analyst team lead as Discovery Invest as well as the managing director at a start-up company called Puno MGT. We touched base with her to find out about her current positions, as well as her experience as a woman in the IT field. 1. Why did you choose to pursue a career in the IT field?I have always found the dynamic nature of the IT industry fascinating and thrilling. 2. What has your experience as a woman in the IT field been like so far?I appreciate my femininity more in this male-dominated industry. As a female leader my leadership approach is more nurturing and people centric, underpinned by my own values of sound judgement and business astuteness. This sets me apart from my male counterparts who equally have their own unique styles of interaction and leadership. The IT field is an exciting space to be in, particularly in this time of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Gender-neutral, brilliant ideas are mushrooming every other day that are changing the face of technology and extensively exploring our capabilities as the human race. It’s amazing and I’m fascinated to see these developments and be involved, at times pioneering these value propositions. My inputs are relevant and appreciated, particularly in the environment I work in. Women are appreciated and given an equal opportunity to contribute as well as lead. 3. What do you enjoy most about your job?Solving problems excites me just as much as people do. I get to discover new solutions by interacting with different faces walking through the corridors of Discovery each day. Without these interactions, challenges would not exist and subsequently the solutions wouldn’t either. The same can be said about the entrepreneurs that seek out our management consulting services. Our impact ranges from minor operations optimization to long term strategy development, all of which leave me with an immutable sense of fulfilment seeing dreams live beyond today. 4. Tell us a bit about Puno MGT.Our core business objective is to serve SMEs. The motive for starting up the business was seeing how home-grown township businesses in South Africa never grow beyond the knowledge and technical expertise of the founder. Through extensive observation and pattern triangulation, I attributed this to the lack of basic business administration skills and strategic planning. These businesses have an abundance of passion and expertise but are stuck in a perpetual survivalist mode. Remedying this conundrum was as simple as providing basic business administration services as well implementing optimizations to their processes, which was what I did daily as a business analyst. I felt it was my responsibility to make myself available to help these visionaries get to where they want to be, it is my way of giving back to the community. 5. Do you feel that Belgium Campus sufficiently equipped you to enter industry?I have always joked with colleagues that Belgium Campus emulates an IT boot camp. I got to develop an exceptional work ethic that stressed the value of quality work as well as respecting deadlines and commitments. These are core and essential skills necessary in the work environment. 6. What is your fondest memory of your time at Belgium Campus?At the risk of sounding cheesy, I would have to say the people. Belgium Campus always felt like home, from residence life to academic. There was never a shortage of helping hands or people to bounce a ridiculous hypothesis off, whether it was a random LAN gaming binge or computing an ORS algorithm. Someone, somewhere would always be willing to help and that’s something that has stayed with me to this day. 7. What are your goals for the future?I want to show young people the value of participating and engaging in the asset and wealth management industry. I want to make the industry accessible and current for young people, not only for sustainability purposes, but also to ensure that cyclic generational poverty is a thing of the past for the young South African. I am the executive board member for my own enterprise but it is only a matter of time until I make it onto other influential boards of multinational corporations, actively seeking better lives for people and changing the world for generations to come.

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