Career Spotlight – Tanja Lichtensteiger
Tanja Lichtensteiger is a Business system team leader at Leeds Beckett university. The Herd team have asked her to share her journey of starting out in tech to becoming a key part of the Leeds Beckett technology solutions team:
Eight years old and I was staring at the cursor blinking from the monitor in front of me, awaiting my command. At such a young age I suddenly realised I had the power to control a machine.
Little did I know that those first forays in coding (BASIC) would take me to where I am now, 25 years later, leading a team of Software Developers, building systems that would help Leeds Beckett University’s staff spend more quality time with our students and improve the overall student experience.
Being a “techie” never came naturally to me. I had to work hard, but the hunger to solve puzzles drove me to learn. I frequently burnt the midnight oil during my young teenage years trying to get systems working
I took my first steps in the professional world at 17 years old when I started an apprenticeship, working in the IT department of the largest supermarket chain in Switzerland. It was an amazing experience gaining skills on the job, but I had to overcome racism and sexism, which were an obstacle while being the only female and non-white person in a department of 120. The challenges just made me more determined and I have grown to be multi-faceted.
These days I am no longer just a techie, I had to become a people person as well. To be an effective team leader you need to understand not just the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, but their values too. It gives me a greater appreciation of each member of this amazing team of passionate puzzle-solving individuals, which I am honoured to be a part of.
You should also learn and be true to your values as well. Be self-aware and know what really matters to you. You could have the best skills for a job, but if you don’t believe in it and how it impacts the world around you, you will feel unfulfilled. Few things are as satisfying to me as watching our University students graduate, knowing full well that the systems we built helped them gain a foundation for their career, which could potentially shape all our futures.
And to those who see their future in the tech and digital industries, there are a variety of roles on offer. This sector has a spot for any passionate hard working individual. So feel the fear, and do it anyway.
If you are interested in a varied career role with lots of potential prospects then make sure you attend the Leeds Digital Job Fair on Friday 28th April 2017, to find out what’s on offer and what you need to do to get to where you want to go.