Being brave enough to suck at something new: How this allWomen alumna landed a job at Typeform

We are always so proud of our students when they successfully complete our course and land their first job in their new career. We believe it’s something that should be celebrated!

That’s why we took the time to sit down with allWomen Data Science alumna, Giulia Brambilla, to discuss her journey from our data bootcamp to landing a job as a Data Engineer at Typeform.

Read on to hear her personal account of how allWomen helped her to find the available position at Typeform, her experience studying in an all-female academy, and what it’s been like switching her career from the music industry to the world of data.

First, could you present yourself and give a small description of your background and your current position working at Typeform?

Before switching my career, I’d always worked in the cultural industries – in the music business especially. Even though I worked for some tech startups, most of my professional background was in live music events and educational institutions. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communications and a Postgraduate Degree in Music Business Management, and after my studies I started working across several areas of the music business as a PR, writer, press officer and communications specialist as well as a project and academic coordinator.

To sum up, I come from a not very typical background considering my actual role as a Data Engineer Intern at Typeform. Almost all of my colleagues come from Computer Science or Engineering studies. This is not my case as, throughout my professional experience, I have always been more in contact with the business side of things rather than the tech part. And this heterogeneity of backgrounds is more common than you think when it comes to female professionals. 

“I guess women were never encouraged in the first place to pursue a career in tech and our social context implicitly made us think that it was ‘boys’ stuff.’”

Giulia Brambilla, Data Engineer Intern at Typeform

Could you explain your hiring journey to Typeform? How did you hear about the position, what was the interview process like, etc.

I learned about the job offer thanks to allWomen. Typeform got in touch with the school and they posted the vacancy in our job offers channel. 

After an informal chat with the team lead, in which they gave me more information about the role, I did a first interview with a recruiter and then other interviews with all the team members, followed by a project/case study presentation. It took about 3 weeks and some Zoom meetings from the initial interview until the job offer.

I have to say I am very happy about how it went, not only for the output of course, but also because, throughout the process, I felt very comfortable, at ease, and informed about the next steps. This is something I consider especially valuable, since we all know that the hiring process can be quite stressful and frustrating – even more for people like me who weren’t used to the job hunting world anymore.

Do you feel like learning in an all-female environment helped you feel empowered to enter a tech profession and advocate for yourself within it?

Yes! Of course. I’m 100% sure about that. In my previous career, I was a part of various networks of women working in the music business and now, apart from being a proud allWomen alumna, I am part of various all-female communities of women in AI, data, and coding that raise awareness on the gender gap in STEM fields, offer education support and work towards increasing diversity in data (and not only) fields.

I have always been a proud supporter of all-female environments. They are a safe space and the best place to learn, be empowered, and grow both on a personal and professional level. Also, the teachers and classmates I met during the bootcamp were brilliant and inspiring. I’ve always felt lucky in this sense, having the feeling I was in the right place at the right time. And this is something so rare and priceless.

When I say “safe space” I refer to the fact that one can learn, speak, ask, think, make mistakes and have opinions without worrying too much about the consequences. I think this is what all career shifters stepping out from their comfort zone need in order to complete their “transition.” 

Also most tech fields are male-dominated, which can be intimidating in some way. Personally I am used to it because the music business tended to be a boys club as well, but luckily now there is more awareness about the lack of diversity and inclusion and during my career I met so many talented women. 

“More than intimidation, I rather feel there is a lack of empathy towards people who, because of various reasons, have had a different or more challenging life path. And in general, there are lots of situations that can trigger feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. This is where imposter syndrome kicks in. Don’t get me wrong, all individuals suffer from this, but it’s a fact that women professionals and minorities report experiencing this more frequently than men.”

Giulia Brambilla, Data Engineer Intern at Typeform

Do you think it was important that you did the Data Science bootcamp with allWomen in order to work in this position at Typeform?

Yes, I think it was. Apart from the hard skills, it also helped me in terms of self-confidence and validation. 

During the pandemic I struggled a bit with anxiety. I was in my late 20s, in the typical phase in which you ask yourself things like “what have I achieved until now? What am I doing with my life and where do I want to go?

It has been a period of reflection and introspection and even if it has not been easy, I am thankful for having gone through it. After weeks of careful thinking, I decided to take the leap and started some online courses about data science and programming. Once I discovered that I enjoyed these topics, I decided that yes – it was the time to enrol in the bootcamp. 

After the beginning of the course, everything started to fall into place. It just felt so natural. And I enjoyed every second of the lessons. I was like a kid in a candy store.

Can you tell us about your experience working at Typeform thus far? Is it a positive experience? What kind of work are you doing?

Typeform is a fast-growing company, which is both challenging and motivating. The company culture is great: friendly, welcoming, and with strong brand values. There are outstanding professionals, skilled but humble. And the on-boarding process has been very smooth.

I am happy about my experience within my team so far, even if I have to confess it’s not easy. Starting from (almost) scratch and being “the new one” once again, for how exciting it can be, is always challenging, I guess. Every coin has two sides, which is why motivation and determination are really important. Also, I have always been used to working with a high degree of autonomy, without asking too much. But now I have so much to learn! Luckily, when I have doubts, my teammates are always ready to get me unstuck.

What are you hoping to achieve in the future?

My current objective is to continue growing. I am very curious; I love to learn new things, and I don’t think this will ever change. I am sure I will be one of those people that’s still studying in their 60s.

In the short term, I aspire to become a good data professional and want to contribute to creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce. To all those who are reading this article, and who find themselves in a situation similar to mine, I want to give kudos for having started a new chapter of their journey. As they say –  be brave enough to suck at something new.

Do you want to learn something new like Giulia? Consider joining our next edition of Data Science courses for women or find the best fit for you by browsing all of our tech bootcamps here.

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