Senior Researcher at Università della Svizzera Italiana
“Choose what makes you excited and challenges you. You can make the difference!”
Education/Career: Bachelor in Informatics from University of Milan · PhD in Computing and Information Sciences from Strathclyde University, UK
How did you get into the IT industry?
What was your first encounter with IT? When, how and why did you catch fire then?
First year of university, I was looking for a challenge and found it!
How old were you at that time?
Almost 19 years old.
How old were you when it became serious and you had to decide on an apprenticeship or a field of study, respectively?
I went for a bachelor in Informatics when I was 19.
What alternative professions or fields of study were you also interested in at the time?
I always thought I would study law, but I wanted more thrill! I loved studying Latin and ancient Greek, but also math and physics so I went for Informatics.
What information did you have at that time about education and the opportunities afterwards?
Not much, Informatics in Milan had just started. But I was fascinated by AI and the many opportunities that gave us to have an impact on people’s lives.
What spoke against it from your point of view at the time?
Who, which people, which circumstances spoke against a career in IT for you at that time?
Nobody tried to stop me.
What was ultimately decisive for your decision to go into IT?
My passion for challenges and self-efficacy.
Who, which persons, supported you at that time?
My teachers and my parents.
What was your path after your apprenticeship or studies?
What were your first steps after graduation?
I got a job as research assistant in the same place I did my bachelor project.
Where were you in your career 5 years after the end of your training/studies?
• Professionally: I was a lecturer at Strathclyde University.
• Private situation: Married with a one year old girl 🙂
Did you have
a) The same salary as your male colleagues?
b) The same career opportunities? If no, why not?
Almost. Given the break for maternity, my promotion was slower.
Looking back, how do you assess the decision for IT?
Which of your expectations were met?
Most of them! I love my work and I feel very lucky!
What do you enjoy most about your current professional situation?
The freedom to keep learning.
Which of your expectations were not met?
It took longer for me to get back to be fully productive after I had my second girl.
Would you make the same decision again?
What do you regret or criticise?
I could have planned my career better.
How had your career been different if you were a man?
It would have been faster.
What would you do differently, and how exactly, if you could?
I would have stayed in my previous position and waited to find a similar one before moving.
If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for?
Same opportunities for both parents.
What advice would you give to your daughter?
What advice would you give to your 15-year-old daughter if she would like to go into IT?
To go for it and enjoy the fun she will have, never think she is inferior to anybody!
What is important to you in life from a professional point of view?
Being open minded and ready to learn.
What would a young woman retiring in 2061 have to consider when shaping her career?
She should think about how to combine family and career. It is possible, but it needs a bit of effort from all involved parties.