interview with Adela Tunsanu, software engineer at Ausy Technologies Romania.
Rapid changes that occur in the global economy and labor market tend to raise people’s worries about their future employability. Thus, reskilling and upskilling draw employees’ and employers’ attention alike.
According to Randstad Work monitor, 2021 second edition, “workers say they need to keep learning throughout their careers, with 80% feeling this way”, and the most sought jobs around the world are technology-related.
The idea of reskilling towards the IT field attracts due to several reasons such as pleasant work environments, opportunities to work and grow in a fast-evolving area, access to continuous learning and development programs, financial aspects, and maybe more importantly, the sense of purpose brought by the project scope and work results.
Thus, at Ausy Romania we constantly strived to provide opportunities for our employees in both upskilling and reskilling. Recently, we decided to gather all these initiatives in a dedicated program, called Aurora, as part of our L&D and retention strategy.
Inspired by the northern lights phenomena, Ausy’s Romania Aurora program focuses on enhancing an existing skill set within a role (upskilling) as well as on providing the context for learning new skills required to perform a completely different job (reskilling).
And it is no wonder that people who manage proper reskilling are passionate about their new job, due to their significant and relentless effort to catch up and adapt to a new field, a new way of work, and new processes.
Through Aurora, we embrace these changes by designing and focusing our training and learning objectives individually. For some of our colleagues the retraining starts by assigning a mentor or coach while. For others it begins with on-the-job training or via e-learning platforms. A blended learning approach is also an option, by using two or more training methods in parallel.
While our program’s name is new, our initiatives started long ago. And, as we learn more from our colleagues’ experiences, we have the pleasure to share more about Adela’s journey and her knowledge achievements in Ausy.
Adela Tunsanu changed her career after working 9 years in Customer Service. She took a leap of faith, directed all her energy towards learning Java and SQL, and almost 3 years ago she began her IT career with an internship within Ausy Technologies Romania.
How was the walk along this path for her, how did she manage the challenges met along the way and what does Ausy experience mean to Adela, you can find out through the interview below.
Could you tell us, briefly, about your background and career before working with Ausy? What did you study, and what area did you work in? How long did you work in a different field ?
Adela: I graduated from the Faculty of Sociology, Human Resources, and I was given the opportunity to work for a telecommunications company.
I worked there for 9 years, starting in a call center operator position. Due to my results, I have been promoted to the position of quality monitor operator. Through the responsibilities that I had, I was able to develop my skills and I was promoted to be a customer service supervisor/team lead.
What determined you to look for a change?
Adela: Although I enjoyed the work that I did and the people that I’ve worked with in my previous company, I started to feel like I needed some new challenges and that I wanted to use my skills and experience in a different capacity than in the past.
In my department, we started to automate many processes and activities, so that the clients could solve many issues by themselves, without talking to call center operators. These technological trends and predictions for the future years made me wonder what might be my future in the work I was doing at that time.
What were the reasons you chose the IT field?
Adela: I graduated high school with a major in Computer Science and Mathematics, but I decided that I wanted to follow a faculty with a human profile, rather than a technical one.
I liked Mathematics, but Computer Science did not attract me. At that time, we were doing Computer Science on paper, we did not have computers and that was probably why this field did not attract me.
But the time has come to make a big decision and figure out what I could do successfully in the future.
Technology is the future and we were not total strangers, so I did some research. The more I read about this fascinating field, the more excited I was about it. It was exactly what I wanted, a new challenge from which I could learn new things, grow new skills, and adapt the old ones to the new environment.
How did you manage to complete your plan for the career change ?
Adela: I didn’t have any friend working in this field, so I didn’t have any guidance, I had to develop a plan by myself to follow.
I was curious and excited about this field and I was willing to take risks. I quit my previous job and I dedicated my whole time to learning.
I enrolled in two courses (Java fundamentals and SQL) in a private academy. I also bought some courses from Udemy platform and, of course, Youtube tutorials.
I set a daily program for learning and a goal to get a job in this field in a maximum of six months.
I had to learn a lot of new things and put them into practice. It was not easy, but, for me discipline, a positive attitude, and ambition were the keys.
How did your collaboration with Ausy start?
Adela: After four months of learning, with a lot of enthusiasm, I started to apply to entry-level jobs and internships.
But, when the answers failed to appear, I was a little bit scared. Many entry-level jobs were asking for previous experience in a similar role or a faculty related to this field.
I didn’t give up. I kept sending resumes, but I also attended different events (open days at some IT companies, tech events) to build my network.
I started to be invited to interviews and technical tests and one day I got a call from Ausy. When I applied for the internship, I did some research about the company. It seemed that our core values aligned and I could work with a team of professional and innovative people. It was really exciting to imagine myself being a part of this company.
During the interviews and when I passed the technical tests, I did the best that I could.
At that moment, I was in multiple recruitment processes, but I chose Ausy because I felt that I could grow beautifully there and make a meaningful contribution.
What areas and projects were you involved in so far and what are the main technologies you used?
Adela: During the internship, I put into practice my Java knowledge and worked on an application for an online store, using Spring Framework. I also gained some experience working with Typescript and Angular.
After the internship, I worked in two projects. One project was for a complex application regarding airport security which allowed me to learn new things working with Java EE, Oracle SQL, and Python.
The project that I work on now is for embedded household devices. Although I became very familiar with this project, it still gives me the opportunity to learn something new each day and to focus on growing my Java skills.
What do you enjoy the most in the collaboration with Ausy? What are your favorite aspects of your work activities?
Ausy is a company that appreciates and respects its employees, has strong values, and offers opportunities for professional and personal development.
For me, these are very important things and I am glad that I am a part of this company and that we can do meaningful work together.
Also, regarding my team whom I work on the current project, I am proud to be a part of it. My colleagues are talented, passionate about their work, kind and funny people who are committed to getting things done.
The work that I do is challenging and interesting and, being a curious person, each day I find new things that I can explore and learn.
How would you see your further evolution?
Adela: I feel that I gained a strong knowledge of the Java language and this year I intend to take the exam for Java Oracle certification.
Also, I continue in my free time the learning path that I’ve started in my internship and try to grow my skills in the Spring framework.
Looking forward to any challenge that may appear in my professional and personal path.
At Ausy we strive to be your partner throughout your career. How have you experienced this?
Adela: Ausy gave me the chance to prove what I can do, even though I had no experience in this field and I am grateful for that.
I brought the skills that I’ve gained at my previous company and applied them where they seemed fit, but also at Ausy, I got the necessary support to continue my personal and professional development.
I feel comfortable in this environment and my ideas are listened to and respected.
We are offered interesting and useful training programs and workshops, both technical and for personal growth, various events related to work or for socializing, free language courses, and much more.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in IT but has previous experience in another domain?
Adela: Put yourself on a learning curve, get curious and always put in practice the new information that you learn.
When you start sending resumes, I think it would be helpful to include a letter of intent to tell your story. Even if you don’t have experience in the new field that you’ve chosen, you should focus on what skills you currently have and how they can be translated into your new path.
If you get rejected at interviews, don't be discouraged, it is still an experience and you will get some idea of what the demands are. Prepare again, learn more and the next interview will be a better one.
Be prepared to start with an internship or an entry-level position and work your way up. The experience you will get will be valuable as you grow into a more challenging position.
Keep a positive attitude, don’t give up on your dream, even when the road is rocky, and add each day a contribution to making the dream real.
Adela’s commitment to pursue a career in IT and to continue to grow professionally can be truly inspiring, not only for people looking for a career change, but also for everyone who wants to keep up with accelerated advancements in technology.