Rimma Chepik

Azure Cloud Engineer, Nationwide Building Society

Rimma’s path to IT was not the classic “I loved technology since childhood, and I built my first personal computer from scratch at the age of 5”. No, her journey began with coming to a new country, not knowing the language or anyone around.

She came to England without plans to stay, thinking she would learn the language and leave in six months. That was eight years ago.

Working in various unskilled jobs, her English improved which enabled her to start studying at Middlesex University in London.

Why Computer Science? Given her non-European citizenship, the options were either studying to be a nurse (but she’s afraid of needles and injections) or computer technology. She never regretted her choice.

When Rimma graduated with a First Class degree from the University, she did not know where and who she wanted to be. Her tutor advised students to apply for a graduate scheme. The difficulty was passing the standard online questionnaires to get to the interview stage. However, one of the employers used an IQ test instead of a questionnaire and finally got to the interview stage. She landed the role of Cloud Engineer in their Azure team.

Gradually getting involved in the new role, she passed an exam and received her first Microsoft certification. In parallel, she volunteered at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a mission to find microbial life on Mars.

Rimma is grateful and honoured to be a speaker at the Everywoman in Tech Forum and share her career path. Her advice for all new women starting in IT, there is nothing to be afraid of, only many things to learn and many ways to help those in need.