Bell & Clements Spotlight - Women in IT: Karuna Sirohi
This month we are sharing insights from some of the women who work in our IT team. We recently sat down with our Senior Software Engineer, Karuna Sirohi, to discover her experiences working in IT and what advice she has for women just starting out in the industry.
Q: What is your role and how long have you been with Bell & Clements?
Karuna: I joined Bell & Clements as a Senior Software Engineer 20 months ago during the pandemic. Before starting my role here, I worked for several IT consultancy firms. During that time, I got various opportunities to work on a mixture of development projects for banks and public sector clients.
Q: How did you get into IT?
Karuna: After graduating in 2002, I decided that I wanted to complete a professional course next. At that time many people were moving into IT, even those from completely different working backgrounds. Everyone at the time was talking about how IT is going to impact every sector, luckily i had a cousin working in IT with whom I could discuss. So, after some thought I decided to do a masters, post graduate degree in computer science. Since then, I’ve not looked back - I am very proud and happy with my decision to this day.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you in your role?
Karuna: I work in a development team, so my typical day starts with looking into the requirements, development tasks, testing or issues requiring investigation/fixing. I then plan what I am going to do on that day, it might involve other team members too. If so, I set up a meeting with them or a Microsoft Teams call depending upon what I am going to discuss. Most of my time is spent in development and testing for the piece of work I started on that particular day.
Q: How have you had to adapt in your role since the pandemic began?
Karuna: I joined B&C during the pandemic, so the first key change was going through all interview stages virtually, which was different from the traditional interview procedure I have had in the past. Even after joining it took over a year before I got to meet my new colleagues and team members in-person. I personally feel the pandemic has taught a lot of people how technology can help to make life/work easier for everyone. Many companies are now focusing on implementing their own IT department, irrespective of the sector they’re based in.
Q: What would you tell a woman who is starting out her career in IT?
Karuna: I would simply say go ahead - you have great career in front of you! Technology is changing frequently, you will have something new to learn every day to keep you motivated and interested.
Q: What helps you to stay focused?
Karuna: There are many things, but the most prominent is my work. It’s true that if you enjoy what you do, you will look forward to it each day. Along with that, maintaining your own health and mental wellbeing is also important to stay focused and motivated. Regular catchups with the team, exercise and a good work life balance helps me also.
Q: How do you unwind at the end of a busy day/week?
Karuna: One of my favorite ways to unwind is to go out for a long walk with my family every weekend. Another favorite pastime of mine is to paint, I love colours and brushes, and always look forward to picking up them up on the weekend and painting something new!