12 Jan 2023

Advice From Ifeoma Uzoegwu



Ifeoma is a Senior Technical Programme Manager at Amazon Prime Video and works with cross-functional teams to deliver features on the Prime Video app that runs on TV’s and living room devices. Over the past year, she played a key role in high-profile launches such as Thursday Night Football and leads programs aimed at improving performance. She was recognised in 2021 by PMI UK as a Wonder Woman and an inspiration to young women, and is also a winner of the 2021 TechWomen100 award. In her spare time, Ifeoma volunteers as a STEM ambassador encouraging girls and young women into technology roles and volunteers as a career mentor for Anglia Ruskin University mentoring women from under-represented backgrounds towards starting a career in Technology.


I’m going into the world of work- what steps do I need to take to find opportunities?

Entering the world of work allows you to use the knowledge and skills you have learned through formal education to deliver value to organisations. I would recommend looking out for internships, work placements and graduate job opportunities that are often tailored for new graduates. To find these opportunities, use job search platforms such as LinkedIn to search for roles that will match your skills and experience. Also explore opportunities to attend career fairs organised by your university or externally for example the UK Careers Fair organises free career fairs for job seekers which gives candidates opportunities to meet employers and learn about vacancies.


I want to learn a second/third coding language, which one should I learn to set myself apart from others?

This depends on what area of programming you are interested in e.g. web development, mobile apps, gaming. Javascript is a cross-platform programming language that is quite popular and Python is becoming increasingly popular especially for Machine Learning. If you are looking to learn a second/third programming language for employment purposes, I would recommend that you look for roles in companies that you are interested in to review the programming languages listed in the job description, and use that as a benchmark to decide the next programming language to go for.


Do I need to study STEM to work in STEM?

Having a STEM degree gives the foundation needed to excel in technical roles, but this is not the only route as people transition into technical roles from non-technical careers. I would recommend that you learn more about career roles in STEM to identify which role you are most passionate about, evaluate your current skills to understand which skills are transferable and where the gaps are, and explore options to close the gaps for example through technical trainings and certifications, transition programmes or internships. I would also recommend finding a mentor that has transitioned into STEM to learn from their journey.


What have you found has helped to calm panic nerves the most when presenting?

Public speaking is often named as the number 1 fear in the world above death, and there are many factors that influence a presenter’s state of mind. For example, you may find it easier to present to a group you are familiar with than to people you do not know, or easier to present on a topic that you are well versed in. My tip is to practice a lot before your presentation to build your confidence, and learn more about best practices for presenting such as deep breathing, speaking slowly and using notes. According to Inc, practicing at least 10 times boosts your confidence, body language and helps you deliver a better presentation. I would also recommend that you consider opportunities to go to the stage before your presentation to familiarise yourself with the environment.

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