As part of the first phase training in the Women4IT project, at the end of 2020, 38 NEET participants from Latvia aged 18 to 29 completed their training. As part of the training, participants had the opportunity to take a 160-hour training course in one of four digital professions - a digital media practitioner, a data analyst, an information systems tester and a data protection specialist. At present, many of the graduates have already found a job, we share the story of the experience of Elina Klusa from Riga, Latvia.
Elina got to know about the courses from advertisement in social media. LIKTA together with the State Employment Agency organized an informing recruitment campaign to inform young women about the career and training possibilities in the IT sector and digital jobs. During the campaign Elina who previously had worked in the marketing and advertisement industry applied to Tester courses, successfully graduated and received a paid internship in one of the leading testing companies in Latvia – TestDevLab. Let’s look closer at Elinas experience during the training and her path to a new career.
How was your experience with the course? Elina Klusa, Project Women4IT graduate: Very positive. I managed to do the first part of the training face-to-face and that was very positive aspect. Our trainer Ieva Sica was very knowledge full and as she is an active practitioner in the industry everything she thought us is currently used in companies and valued in the job market. Trainer openly shared her experience and provided valuable stories about different companies and carrier possibilities in them. I really enjoyed that training consisted of different practical tasks and it was never boring – tasks were creative and differed every lesson. Also purely on the social side – it very nice to learn, talk and exchange ideas with Ieva. Trainer also provided an opportunity to unite in a joint group both in Whatsapp and Instagram and the training, so that contact with classmates would not be lost. It is definitely a positive element that at the time when the training started to take place remotely, the teacher was very prepared and thought about different tools and ways to ensure interactivity with each other.
What have you learnt during the course??
Elina: I learned the basics of Information Systems testing - what it is in general, how it manifests itself today and in companies, what are the testing possibilities, testing types. How can different approaches can be used in testing processes, how to understand where to start. We also learned what tools we can use and which tools are currently most actively used in real companies. Also, we learned the basics of testing through many practical tasks - we tested and created websites, analysed and detected errors, described them, etc
What has the course given you? Elina: The training course provided an opportunity to understand, free of charge, what lies behind testing Information Systems, to gain insight into the background, from a person who has been working in the industry now and for a long time (and I could not gain such experience by studying independently), and to work to understand, whether the chosen topic also relates in real practice.
After the training, there was also an opportunity to apply for internships, which was a good opportunity to try a job in a real company and see if this is what you would like to do in the future. I was in internship at the company “TestDevLab”, but the projects I was working on were very specific and I realized that it was not quite for me. The management of the company was very understanding and respected my decision, and I immediately recommended that they can contact my Women4IT course members from the course, for whom this would definitely be the right place. And they found a suitable match.
In summary, if you are interested in retraining, this is a great way to get the basics in another industry for free. Basically even to just understand whether in practice this is what I would like to do in the future.
How have you grown professionally? Elina: As I mentioned before – I starter a paid internship in a wonderful company, but understood that this was not for me. And currently I have started a new job connected with the ICT industry in company “Baltijas Datoru Akadēmija” and I work as Development and development team leader (not connected with IS testing). I am very grateful and if I had not attended the courses, I think I would not be in this new job right now.
How have you grown personally?
Elina: Information Systems Testing as a topic is still of interest, it was very exciting to get to know everything behind it, because basically I am very interested in researching and analysing people's behaviour, habits and offering them appropriate solutions. Therefore, in general, I can say that the courses also deepened my natural interest in understanding people on a personal level. The course also allowed us to believe that if you want to try another direction in life - you can do it safely and calmly, and if it turns out that it is not what you imagined - that it is also ok (because until you try, you will never know).
Would you recommend it to a friend? Why??
Elina: If there was interest, then definitely, because I believe that the courses were organized in very high quality with super fresh, modern information and practical work.