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#DMUglobal trip inspires Kate to champion careers in tech

Meeting entrepreneurs in San Francisco has inspired Kate Lowe to launch a platform that brings together people with an interest in technology.

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Thanks to #DMUglobal, the final-year Computer Science student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) had the chance to spend a week in Silicon Valley, meeting more than 30 business leaders from some of the world's most successful technology companies such as Google and Weebly.  

As a result of the trip, Kate launched Tech Us Together last month, a platform to broaden people’s perspective about the different career routes available into technology.

The 31-year-old said: “During our visit, we got to speak to successful people who embarked on career changes later in life, which was really inspiring.

“A personal highlight was meeting Mandela Dixon, the founder and CEO of Founder Gym. She was a teacher until she decided to change direction in her 30s and has since been a Forbes contributor and TEDx partner, among her many successes.

“At a workshop with the founders of POCIT (People of Color in Tech), who helped host the #DMUglobal trip, we were asked what our commitment to diversity would be when we got back to the UK.

“That’s when I knew I wanted to start a business that reached everybody. To me, diversity also means a person’s age. I came to university when I was 28 after a career in events, so this is something that really matters to me.” 

Through Tech Us Together, Kate co-ordinates events bringing together students, industry professionals and technology experts to share their experiences, develop new ideas and support each other. 

The platform’s official launch at Leicester Creative Business Depot last month attracted a range of interesting speakers, including Colette Rawlinson, Head of Delivery for IBM CIC, Tom Noble, Founder of consultancy Tom N Tech, and Gabriel Egan, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at DMU.

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“I hope I can inspire people to look at technology in a new light and to help them see that there are so many different career opportunities out there that they may not have been aware of,” said Kate.

“When I started my course at DMU, I thought I was going to become a programmer, but San Francisco opened my eyes to other roles in technology. If I had known they existed before, I may have done some of these things earlier in life.

”Kate also benefited from a year-long government placement as a Systems Engineer thanks to #DMUworks, a programme aimed at giving students the necessary skills and qualities that employers look for.

She said: “I haven’t come across any challenges associated with being a woman in STEM. In fact, I seem to have had more opportunities as the industry is trying to attract more women and has been receptive to what I’m doing with Tech Us Together.

“My colleagues on my placement were very welcoming too. I think people wanted me there and wanted my ideas, because I was different to the majority of the people making up the workforce.

“I had an amazing time and had really good opportunities from it.”

Posted on: Wednesday 25 April 2018

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