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A panel of women working in UAB IT gave personal testimonies about finding their passions in their respected fields, along with sage advice for seniors graduating this spring.

On April 20, staff members from UAB IT joined students from Women in Technology, a UAB student group, to discuss working in the information technology field. Panelists include Applications Architect Alexandra Fedorova, Senior Business Intelligence Specialist Lesley Newell, IT Project Manager IV Ivy Walker-Davis, and Director of IT Client Services Jamie Witter.

“If you want to move forward and elevate yourself in your company, pick up some of the stuff everyone else has but in too hard pile,” Witter said.

Being a woman in the tech field can be a daunting task and proving that gender does not define your capabilities to do the job is an extra hurdle some new hires have to face, Witter said.

“Doing those things are the ones that will get you noticed and recognized,” said Witter, who also noted that jobs outside technology can help prepare you for a career.

“The days of coding in your cube for eight hours and hardly interacting with others are gone,” said Witter. “Almost everyone in IT has to have good customer service skills. You have to be able to talk to your customers and understand what it is that they need.”

For UAB students about to graduate, Walker-Davis had some wise words.

“Volunteer and engage in these topics before you jump in,” Walker-Davis said. “There are a lot of things that go on here in Birmingham like TechBirmingham. Go to some of those events and see what is really going on.”

Ivy and her colleagues stressed the importance of testing the waters and finding a position that will not only benefit employees but help the next generation flourish.