My journey in Technology by Enxhi Shkurta
Starting from this month, we will be featuring a series of guest blogs from womENcourage 2019 participants. They will share their career journeys, their challenges but what they also love most about this field, and how womENcourage inspires them.
Our first guest blogger is Enxhi Shkurta.
My name is Enxhi Shkurta, and I come from Albania. I graduated from the Polytechnic University of Tirana, in Telecommunications Engineering and I am currently doing a Master of Science in Telecommunications at the University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain.
I wanted to share with you a part of my career journey in the engineering field. Technology has been all around us in the last few years. The mobile phones were a rare spectacle in the 1990s and early 2000s, so “technology” meant online games and surfing the internet for my school projects on a desktop for me. I was always fascinated by the way these things worked, but I didn’t quite understand the intricate details. So, I decided to study Telecommunications to explore this field better. I am the type of person that, if you introduce me to something in an interesting way, I would like to explore it deeper on my own.
I come from a family of non-engineers; I was the only one in the family who pursued a career in tech. When I was in the tenth grade, I participated in an essay writing competition, where we were asked to write about our career aspirations in life. Surprisingly, a career in computing wasn’t on my list of options then! I wrote about studying Medicine and saving peoples’ lives. But that didn’t quite work out when I decided to pursue engineering, and there has been no looking back ever since. I got so passionately involved in tech that I decided to step out of my comfort zone, leave my family and go to Spain for the Master’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering. Although I was away from my family, they have always been there by my side in every way possible. I have been fortunate to have their support. During the difficult phases of my life, they were always there and gave me the motivation I needed to move forward both in my personal and professional life. I have this tendency to take risks, and they always encouraged me to follow my passion.
I believe the exposure we get during our childhood and the experiences we have while we grow up play a significant role in defining our career interests. In most of the developing countries, I think girls do not get to choose what kind of exposure they get. The expectation is that men are the bread-winners for their families with their primary focus on career growth. In contrast, women are expected to balance their families and careers with a primary focus on the family. I believe these standard expectations put pressure on both men and women leading to chaos in both personal and professional lives, and the majority of the time, women end up putting their career in the back seat. Given the unbalanced gender ratio, when it comes to computing, across the world, the factors mentioned above further widen the gap.
In my case, finding a female engineering role model in college was like finding a needle in a haystack.
BUT, at the womENcourage events, you can meet and talk with many inspirational tech female leaders from every corner of Europe and deep dive into tech trends that are changing the face of computing. I think we all have something to learn from every person we meet. womENcourage connects you with other females in the field and celebrates their achievements.
This September, I participated at womENcourage 2019, which was held in the beautiful city of Rome, Italy. It has been an exciting event surrounded by incredible people, brilliant minds and great professionals. I want to express my most sincere appreciation to all the organisers and collaborators for their support, energy and for making this event happen. It has been a fantastic experience to listen to hundreds of inspirational tech leaders share their tips for success in the world’s fastest-growing industry.
I totally recommend this event to all the girls who want to make a big move into computing or a tech-related field. This event will give them a big chance to be someone who is remembered for her achievements one day. I think it is our duty to share our stories and inspire others so we can make our future better.