Tell us about your career path.
Why did you choose a STEM profession?
Was your interest in STEM encouraged?
During my childhood, I wanted to be an engineer like my father. He is an electrical engineer. My mother was a Physics highschool teacher. So physics and maths were no brainer for me. My parents encouraged me a lot. My mom would take me to science museums and exhibitions. My father would sign me and my siblings into school field trips to visit power plants and wind farms. I am very grateful to them for planting the seeds of love of science in us at an early stage. By the time I reached highschool, I knew I wanted engineering schools but didn’t know what speciality. I heard about computer science. I wasn’t into “video games” or hacking movies like the other guys in highschool. There was that idea, that those profiles chose IT. Friends and relatives saying “but I don’t see you as an IT engineer”, “Why don’t you go for medicine?”, “You could be a university professor because it’s a good balance for mothers for your future family life”.
However, I wanted to be an engineer and I knew the IT sector was a developing field and there would be many job opportunities out there. I chose a computer science engineering university path. I did my graduation internship thesis in Japan. After which, I was recruited by the same company and started my career in Japan. Now, I am starting a new job with a German consulting firm as a Data Scientist.
Implement the change you want to see in the world.
How was your educational/university experience? Do you have any memorable experiences to share?
I studied CS engineering for 5 years in Tunisia. The first 2 years were great. The following 3 years were not great in terms of course content. But I got more time to be active in volunteering work like launching the Computer 4 Everyone project where we collected old computers and fixed them in order to donate them to under-priviliged children in rural areas.
Showing one of the kids the basics of using a desktop computer on one of our projects trips
Where do you work?
What would you do during a typical day at work? What do you enjoy most about your job?
I work at foobar agency GmbH, a Software engineering & consulting firm.
The day will be a mix between planning meetings, technical discussions and programming.
I enjoy working on real data to understand customers behaviours (in ecommerce for example).
What are your plans and aspirations for the future?
I would like to work for a United Nations entity or the ICRC, organizations of the humanitarian sector.
What do you like to do outside of work? What are your passions and hobbies?
I like being outdoors in nature, whether it’s hiking in the mountains or walking by the seaside. Yes, not all techies are introverts and hooked on coffee. I am a herbal tea person and I’d say quite extroverted.
What advice would you give to other young girls and women who plan to pursue a STEM career?
Don’t be intimidated. There is no specific profile you have to fit in. I remember at my first professional experience, I was trying not to look too “girly” and join the cool conversations, but after a while I realized I didn’t need to and was just being me. We are breaking stereotypes.
STEM is an ocean. Just board the ship, you may plan for a destination but then fall in love with another island.