Studied: HNC and HND Computing
Progression: Working as an IT Technician and studying Level 6 Degree in Computer Science
Three years ago, Martina Donzella was working as a chef. Now she is an IT technician in a college and is well on her way to establishing a career in either networking or cybersecurity.
Her achievements are down to her progress as a higher education student in computing and the support she says she received from her lecturers.
“My lecturers put a lot of faith in me,” said Martina who has worked her way up from Level 4 to Level 6.
“They have been willing to nurture me as an adult student without all the necessary IT knowledge and experience a typical undergraduate might have. When I first came to be interviewed for the course, I promised them I would work hard. And now here I am.”
Martina’s interest in IT came about when she was forced to bring her 13-year career as a chef to an end. She developed carpel tunnel syndrome and needed to find a profession that was less of a strain on her hand and wrist.
As she thought about alternative jobs to pursue, a cousin who worked in IT gave Martina some useful careers advice.
“I hadn’t any real interest in IT apart from gaming,” Martina said. “Then my cousin started talking about the jobs available. He explained that if I learned how to do binary calculations and then understood how networks and subnets functioned then I was already halfway there.”
Martina developed her knowledge in networking, hardware architecture and Java Script among other IT processes and soon found she was enjoying her studies. Two months into her HND, she started working as an IT Technician at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College.
As part of the college’s IT Helpdesk, she started out troubleshooting users’ system and network problems and now tackles some of the more challenging queries that are usually forwarded on to a systems engineer.
“Three months into my job at the college, I was awarded a ‘Customer Love’ badge for my work,” said Martina. “Some users prefer dealing with me. My team is predominantly male. When people contact us, they have asked for ‘the nice lady’ so that makes me proud.”
“Women are welcomed into IT. There are no boundaries,” Martina added. “It can be hard starting out in any new role or job, but there is a lot of encouragement and support out there.”
After she has achieved her full honours degree, Martina is considering a masters in cloud cybersecurity.