How difficult is it to get into IT? Forte Group employees share their stories. | Forte Group

How difficult is it to get into IT? Forte Group employees share their stories.

What was your dream career when you were growing up? Many of us dreamed of being president, an astronaut, or a professional athlete. In reality, today’s dream job usually revolves around tech, in particular, software development or engineering jobs. 

The role of software engineer is almost always near the top in the “best jobs” lists. Software engineers are always in demand, so how do you land one of these dream jobs? Both the applicants and the employers are putting in a lot of effort, inventing new tools and techniques to attract each other’s attention. Is it true that entering the  IT sector is really that difficult? We spoke with Forte Group employees about their IT career path and asked them: How difficult is it to start a career in tech? Some stories surprised us, some of them made us think, but absolutely every story is inspirational and motivating!

Anton, what did you dream of becoming as a child?

I have been dreaming about space since childhood. I graduated from an aerospace university and went to work as an engineer at an aerospace enterprise. But I was still far from my dream. Then I found out that astronauts are not trained in my homeland and NASA requires American citizenship. My dream was on the verge of failure.

But there was a glimmer of hope. I found out that for $20 million, you can fly to the International Space Station, no matter who you are or where you are from. I heard that IT specialists earn millions. So in front of me was the task of entering IT. With the help of nine-month courses and the absorption of huge amounts of information, I got into IT.

Were there any unexpected discoveries when you got into IT?

At first, I discovered free coffee and cookies at the workplace and [discovered] the weirdest drink in my life — a smoothie! It was unusual for me that you may not go to the workplace because your dog is not in the mood. It was very nice that my colleagues are worried about my health and well-being. Also, I met many friends and interesting people. As I mentioned at the beginning, I aspiring to get into space. Thanks to IT I can fulfill my childhood dream one day.

Sergey, what is your educational and professional background?

After school, according to the established tradition, I went into higher education. My parents wanted me to be a logistician, having seen on TV that it’s “fashionable, cool, youthful,” and honestly speaking, I didn’t resist. I worked as a logistician for three years at Belmedpreparaty (the largest leading pharmaceutical enterprise in Belarus) and it turned out that this was not my thing at all.

How did you decide that logistics was not your vocation and decide to change?

My sister had already opened her beauty studio at that time. Once I noted her gorgeous manicure, it hooked her for some reason. She was about to expand her business and offered work as a manicure specialist at her studio. At first, I was a little shocked by such a proposal, but then, while working at Belmedpreparaty (the largest leading pharmaceutical enterprise in Belarus), I thought: “Why start something new? I’ve been working here for a long time, and they pay me well.” And at that moment, I realized that I was only 23 years old, and my thoughts were like those of a pensioner. This thought became the starting point. I decided to go to manicure courses. Eventually, it worked out. I combined two jobs for six months, then switched to full-time in my sister’s beauty studio.

And why did you decide to start a career in IT after working in the logistics and beauty sphere?

I have been interested in IT since high school. So my first attempts to become a programmer date back to that time. The problem was in my thinking. I was only 16-17 years old, and I had absolutely no confidence. Everything seemed too complex, scary, and generally unbearable. I never gave up on the idea of programming, but the thought “I won’t pull it” always stopped me. But then I looked at myself from the outside and sensibly assessed that I did an excellent job at Belmedpreparaty, and I had changed profession easily and quickly. 

After working at the beauty studio, I realized that I needed to study programming. A year and a half later, I went on IT courses. I combined my studies and worked in the studio for another year and a half with practically no free time. Then I left the studio and started looking for a job.

Why did you choose Forte Group as your first working place?

I started looking for a job, and by the time I received an offer from Forte Group, I already had several offers.  The timing surprised me. All the job interviews I passed were in several stages, and Forte was not an exception, but the feedback speed surprised me. I weighed up all the pros and cons and realized that this was an excellent offer, and here I am.

Yuliya, tell us how you got into IT, and Forte Group?

After school, I went to Minsk State Linguistic University, and after my studies, I worked there (at the University) for three years. In the third year of my teaching career, I accidentally got into the Forte Group.

My University colleague was an English instructor at Forte Group at that time. At some point, she decided to quit this position. So she suggested applying to Forte.  As a result, the recruiters interviewed me for the position of an English teacher, but at the interview, I was offered a job as a recruiter at the same time as a teacher. I had no idea what recruitment was at that time, but I am an easy-going person, so I agreed.

The first year at Forte Group was pretty busy because I was both an English teacher and a recruiter, and at the same time, I continued to teach at the University.

Do you mean that there weren’t even thoughts of changing the professional activity?

Not at all! Everything happened quite accidentally — Forte Group and IT happened by accident.

Mike, where did you study, and in what area were you originally planning to build a career?

I studied at one of the American Universities and initially aimed at the American labor market. I finished my studies in 2013 – at that time when there was a minor crisis in America. I wanted to work somewhere there (in America), and even though I had permission, there were no offers that could satisfy my requirements. I received a double degree in management and international relations, but I was offered vacancies in a restaurant, a golf club, and other places that were out of my interest. It felt that my studies were in vain since I did not work in my specialty.

I decided to look through the options in the Belarusian labor market. Friends advised me to look into IT companies. It was significant for me to stay within a dynamic work culture and an English-speaking environment to apply my communication skills. IT — seemed to be the most successful combination.

How did you end up in Forte Group?

One of my friends sent me a link to register for the IT talent management course from Forte Group. I applied, completed the training, and was hired on the recruiting team. Since then, I have changed many positions within the company, reaching the project manager position. 

Seven years of working experience in Forte Group gave me confidence that Forte really is the company I was looking for and where I always wanted to work to fulfill my objectives. I enjoy working with the client’s requirements, making a positive impact on the business, working in a team, and looking for the perfect solution. And, of course, I like to receive appreciative feedback from partners. This is an accurate measure of success for me.

Tell us, Aleksandra, how did you choose your future profession?

Before school graduation, I came across an online essay contest for admission to universities in the Czech Republic. At that moment, I got the idea to go to Prague to study journalism. There was a grant fully covering both tuition and accommodation if you finished in first place. There was a grant covering 50 percent of tuition fees for second place and 25 percent for the third. I wrote and sent my essay. Participants were in the region of 2000. I was amazed when they called me and offered me second place. But the parents did not have that amount of money, so I had to refuse.

How did you decide to change from journalism to IT?

I am a creative person, so I looked for a suitable profession. But I would be lying if I said that the material issue did not bother me. For many people, getting into IT means taking QA courses. The only skill you need to enter this course is English, and I had awful English at that time. Eventually, I successfully passed both the interview for the classes and the courses themselves.

After the course, I started looking for a job and finally received an offer from Forte Group. Initially, I was engaged in web and mobile. Then I switched only to mobile. People say that the best job is a high-paid hobby and this is the case for me. I think that I just had a perfect match with the profession!

Each of the stories reminds us once again that nothing is impossible. There will always be obstacles along the way, and the only thing that matters is how you overcome them. Ultimately, anyone can enter IT. The main thing is not to be afraid of change but always be ready to reach new heights and solve new challenges.

Angelina Melguy

by Angelina Melguy

Angelina Melguy is an Employer Brand Specialist at Forte Group. She is a creative and self-motivated specialist with a keen interest in learning and sharing handy information.

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