Celebrating International Girls in ICT Day - A chat with Sonia Piton

"Trying different things and diversifying is the key to figuring out what you want out of your career"

Missed the first interview in this series? Read about Davila Thompson's path to a career in ICT

Tomorrow is International Girls in ICT Day. In celebration and acknowledgement of the talented and professional women who not only work on our products and services, but who also help make our culture great, we spoke to three women at Funnelback to get their insights on why ICT is an awesome career choice for girls.

Today we speak with the Production Manager in London, Sonia Piton. Sonia has been a pivotal part of the UK team for five years.

When you were in high school, what subjects interested you the most?

I enjoyed geography and biology and very much wanted to be a traveller and a travel writer.

What did you study at university, and what kind of challenges did you face?

I studied Philology and Linguistics for my BA  and MA degrees. It’s the branch of knowledge that deals with the structure, historical development, and relationships of a language or languages. I then obtained Post Graduate Diploma in Web Design and Development.

I chose philology because I realized that it might be difficult to get a paid travel writer job so I was looking to do something else that would allow me to travel and work at the same time - I thought that being a translator or an interpreter would be the answer.

Throughout my university and early career years, I always tried different things as I realized that one hardly ever knows for sure at 18 what they will enjoy doing for a living.

For work while I studied, I used to teach English, translate copy texts for an art gallery as well as work as a tour guide. I discovered that I was very good at planning and organising so I wanted to make a career out of it. Over the years that career lead me to want to explore my creative side, and I enrolled for a Postgraduate Diploma in Web Design and Development course. It was hard work as I had classes on the weekends while working full time. However, it was an eye opener. It got me interested in IT and UX and eventually led to me applying for a job at Funnelback.

It also made me realize that although I thought I am quite creative, I do not enjoy being involved in tasks that require a 24/7 creativity. So a career in design is not so much for me.

It’s worth trying many different things and diversifying.

What do you love about your current role?

A production manager role means being in the middle of the action all the time: working with sales, account management and technical teams as well as clients. It can be challenging to accommodate everyone’s needs but also very satisfying when all the little building blocks of production fall into the right place.

I am responsible for a number of tasks around project delivery such as project team structuring, planning, and workload distribution; understanding developers & designers skills and building the best team for each project. Working closely with clients and managing client’s stakeholder can also be a key in a successful project delivery.

The variety is the aspect of my role that I love most. No two projects are the same and I like working with different clients all the time as it creates opportunities to both learn and network.

What has been your most most fulfilling career highlight?

My sabbatical. It was instrumental in kickstarting my next career move: from public Higher Education sector to a role in Shoreditch - London’s ‘Tech City’ - as a Digital Project Manager. Having a six-month break allowed me to reflect on my achievements, aspirations and future goals. And it made the decision to make a move look like a logical next step rather than a possibility.

What are your personal and career aspirations for the future?

I’d like to refresh my UX skills, and if I still find it interesting, move to that field of ICT and maybe do a one or two-year stint abroad, maybe in Singapore - I adore sun and hot weather.

Personally I’d like to eventually get my blackbelt in kickboxing - always useful skills when working with men or travelling ;-)

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