Welcome to my new interview series featuring some of the brightest and most hard-working women I know. My goal for this series is to collect stories from women in all levels of their career. The hope is that their journey and their advice will trigger something in you, and help you take the jump you need to achieve your personal level of success. Whether they are freelancers, founders of their own business, corporate employees, or students, this #LadiesWhoHustle series will showcase their unique talents and help you unveil yours.
As a woman working in the tech space, I'm always interested in learning about the career paths of other women in tech. That's why I'm so excited to share my next #LadiesWhoHustle interview with the inspiring Ana Gentle. Ana is a Seattle-based engineer at Amazon, where she works on data related projects. Since joining the tech field a few years ago, she noticed on BIG thing missing - women! For this reason, she decided to create a platform to show others her experience and lend a female face to the industry. (Good job girl!) She has since become a blogger where she talks about tech, her career, and how others can join her in the field!
Think back to when you were 10 years old. What did you wish to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a weatherman! I was on my elementary school's morning news broadcast and I loved announcing the day's weather to everyone!
What's your current dream job?
I think my current role comes pretty close! I never thought I'd get to have such an impactful and interesting job. I'm pretty creative and love working on side projects, so I hope to someday grow my own business that inspires and motivates women to get involved in technology!
Let’s talk goals! Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Running my own business and calling the shots!
Tell us what your average day looks like.
A wake up at 7 am, pour a cup of coffee, sit on the couch and catch up on the news.
This is probably my favourite time of the day and I've been doing it since middle school! I take the bus to work, get in around 9:30 and catch up on my e-mails until my team has stand up at 10:30. This is about 15 minutes that my team sets aside to discuss what we are working on and what we need help with.
I'll have a few meetings throughout the day or host office hours for Amazon employees that need help with their data. Between meetings, I work on my team's projects.
I get home a little after 5, hit the gym, make dinner, snuggle with my cat and catch up with friends and family before bed!
Have you experienced any career struggles so far?
A few years ago, I quit my first job out of college and decided to pursue data science. I had zero plans. I spent about a year learning the skills I needed and applying for jobs. For a few months, I was unemployed and really struggled to find my path. I had a lot of faith in myself and eventually found my way!
You’ve done so much in your career so far! Is there one thing you would consider your biggest career win?
Seeing my work make headlines in the news!
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?
Failure paves the road to success! This is my mantra. I've failed so many times, but I work really hard to have a positive mentality. No one successful made it on their first try!
Sometimes advice can be unsolicited. What’s the worst piece of career advice you’ve received?
That you always need to push yourself and work harder or longer. This is a toxic mentality. If you don't respect your own limits, you'll run yourself and your career into the ground.
Has anyone really inspired you in your career?
Tina Fey! I've been a big fan for years. Comedy is another male-dominated field and she has done a great job of paving the way for other women.
I believe having a mentor (and being a mentor when the time is right) is such an important addition to a successful career. Do you have a mentor?
I've had lots of mentors throughout my life! It helps to have someone keep you in check and lift you up when you need it.
When do you feel the most confident?
When I'm at the gym! If I didn't have a career in tech, I'd be a fitness instructor. I've always been athletic and love playing sports! That's when I'm most in my element.
Favourite way to sweat: Interval training at the gym!
Book you just can’t put down: Bird by Bird, written by Anne Lemott.
Morning person or night owl? Night owl.
What gets your taste buds roaring? ... do slurpies count?
City you can’t stop dreaming about: Washington, DC - my hometown.
Get in touch with Angela!
Know anyone that would be great to feature in the #LadiesWhoHustle series? Connect with me on Instagram to nominate them - or yourself!