At Morgan McKinley, we are passionate about supporting women in Data Analytics and Technology. Katie Boland, Head of Front End Engineering at Pricewaterhouse Coopers takes part in our blog series to share her success stories, career-defining moments and what advice she would give to another female looking to pursue a similar career.
Profile: Katie Boland has worked within the software engineering industry for the last 20 years and is currently Head of Front End Engineering at PwC. Originally studying architecture before realising her true passion was software development Katie is passionate about high quality, customer focused UI development and working on new and innovative applications in a digital environment.
What do you attribute your success to?
Dogged determinism and an unwillingness to take no for an answer. If someone tells me something can't be done it just makes me more determined to prove that it can. This can be both a blessing and a curse! Moving to Sydney from a small town was also a huge necessary change that opened up my world and exposure to different people and experiences.
What attracted you to your current organisation?
Size and reputation. I knew PWC would have the means and resources to back the type of projects I knew I wanted to be involved in.
Have there been any career-defining moments?
When I think back over my career there are a few distinct moments that stand out. A key moment earlier on was realising I didn't want to be an Architect six months in my graduate role after over six years of studying. It was key in my coming to terms with the fact that most adults are working for at least 40 years, and if you aren’t getting out of bed in the morning positive and ready to start the day, you ultimately are limiting your overall happiness.
Another big career moment was coming to terms with my own limitations, in particular, that I wasn't ready to run my own business. It can be hard to be open and honest with yourself, but it comes with maturity. Working for a big corporation also opens up a lot of doors. My first position in a large enterprise was at QBE Insurance. It was career-defining in that it exposed me to a whole array of new opportunities.
If you started your career again now, what would you do differently?
I would definitely recommend applying for Summer internships with as many companies as you can during the university holidays. The experience an intern gains and the connections they make open a lot of doors and also help them work out what they do and don't enjoy early enough in their career that they can make changes or focus their efforts in the right areas.
What is the one big decision in your career that you would change if you could do it again?
Obviously, I wouldn't do a degree in Architecture. I've always wished I had the chance to study and/or work overseas so if I had my time again I would try harder to make that happen. It becomes tricky once you've settled in a place and have a mortgage/kids/schools etc to make a move like that.
What advice would you give to other females looking to pursue a career in Technology?
Have faith in yourself and don't let other people put you down. Also, if opportunities to network come up, take them! Having friends in your area of expertise that understand you and that you can bounce ideas off of is invaluable and makes life so much more rewarding.
To hear from other inspiring women in the Data and Technology space, please click here.