Telling our stories – Manjola Zeneli
Each year we meet incredible women at womENcourage™ celebrations. We ask womENcourage participants to tell their stories in blog posts. We continue 2023 with Manjola Zeneli, who studied a Bachelor and Master in Telecommunication Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Tirana and is now an IT specialist at Tetra Solutions. She has done her PhD studies on cybersecurity in the Technical University of Sofia and has presented and published a paper named “Pathway of the applications on cyber security in Albania”.
My name is Manjola Zeneli. I am 39 years old and I was born in Durres, Albania.
Humans are the most superior creatures amid all the creatures in the entire universe. Being a part of this universe makes me feel small and minuscule in a world where there are millions of humans. Although everyone is quite unique in their own way, I try my best to be humble, kind and respectful of everybody I meet regardless of their age, gender, family background, nationality or race. It is not an easy task to write about one’s self anyway. I will introduce myself as an experienced, passionate and professional Information Technology Specialist and also a conciliatory lecturer.
Some of my important stages in my life which have their origin from my childhood desires will be mentioned as follows:
My desire for electrical engineering has been instilled by my father since I was a child. He always explained to me the elements of electronics like resistors and how their value was calculated from the colors of the lines it had, transistors etc. At that time the only thing that mattered to me was the joy that sourced from this ”game” but then things began to deepen more and more when I decided to attend “Harry T Fultz” college, in the department of Electronics. Through the years of college I really understood that my future would be for sure related with electronics and technology.
Then I studied for 3 years Bachelor in Telecommunication Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Tirana followed by 2 Years of Master in Telecommunication Engineering.
After finishing university l I have worked for 3 years as an IT Specialist in Durres Port Authority then I began at the same position at Tetra Solutions, an IT company maintaining IT systems of Durres Port Authority, where I am still working. The long experience for 14 years equipped me with valuable experience in implementing, customizing and maintaining IT systems performance to ensure company success. I have become familiar and adept in working with engineering, industrial engineering, change management, and business transformation systems. I have gained a reputation for continually achieving on time performance goals.
Furthermore, I want to mention the dream that I also had in my childhood for being a teacher has also become a reality since I have been working for 8 years as Adjunct Lecturer at Aleksander Moisiu University in Durres.
Now I am in the first year of my PhD studies on cybersecurity in the Technical University of Sofia and have presented and published my first paper “Pathway of the applications on cyber security in Albania”.
The eagerness to be part of these events originates from the gap I have from the student life where the inclusion of Albania in these events are very small. Being part of tech-oriented and social organizations inspired me in enhancing and crafting my desire for involvement and development in tech hubs.
Either because our socio-economic possibilities are very limited considering our monthly salary, I try to do the best for my professional and personal development.
I have always been searching for possibilities to improve my personal skills, face practical challenges, and expand my academic curriculum.
Some of the events I have participated are as below- mentioned:
- Two times in Training in Brussels for 2 weeks with scholarships for IT systems
- Hackathon in Sofia, Bulgaria 2018 and Frankfurt, Germany 2019
- ACM Women Encourage Conference Rome, Italy 2019
- Many online conferences during pandemic years 2020 and 2021
- Summer School HIPEAC on 10-16 July 2022 – 18th International Summer School on Advanced Computer Architecture and Compilation for High-performance Embedded Systems, Fiuggi, Italy with Certificate and scholarship award
- Virtual Attendance at Grace Hopper Celebration 22 awarded by scholarship -September 2022
I want to spend some of my time in volunteering experiences and some of the ones I want to share with you are in the education field and health field. I have been for three years since the 2020 Student scholarship reviewer for Tapia and GHC Anita.B org non-profit organizations and Birds of Feather assignments Reviewer. Also, EUvsVirus Mentor Coordinator in European Commission Hackathon 2020.
The fascinating womenENcourage community
This conference is incredible, and the community that surrounds it is vibrant and active. I have been continuously checking the ACM Women Encourage website for news, network, and programs since my stunning attendance in 2019, and I’ve always looked forward to another opportunity to attend, especially since there is a chance of a grant. Looking at the impact that prior conferences have had, as well as the prominent speakers and larger techie women communities, inspires me to be more excited about applying for and engaging in these societal and educational activities. Being physically located in Europe, I’d be very interested in having the opportunity to study and observe working time management techniques, practices, strategies, and approaches in order to use some of them in the company where I work, in my academic life as an adjunct lecturer and more broadly. I’m looking forward to taking on new volunteering tasks with enthusiasm and confidence in order to be closer with this kind community. Fortunately, I have a strong desire to be noticed and to be at the forefront of a new technology trend. I’d also like to be able to give back to individuals who are interested in technology, by sharing my time and experiences. Furthermore, learning from well-known academics and business professionals would boost my expertise as an educator at UAMD University.
This year I experienced the second chance of attending the ACM Women Encourage conference and everything was fascinating, the loving steering and organizing committee, the inspiring workshops especially the one of AI Ethics, a vivid and dynamic one like the lecture, the best examples of scientific posters and last but not least, the amazing and warm Cypriot hospitality.
These kinds of celebrities make you feel more confident, enrich your conceptual and intellectual depth and highlight your practical relevance.
Also, I want to mention the contact and best impressions I had with the Norwegian group with a great leader, their professor, who were all really nice and well prepared for the event.
All the reasons mentioned above make my participation in Norway 2023 a must.
So, my sincere and motivated call is Apply, Apply, Apply!