Although IT is stereotypically perceived as men's domain, more and more women pursue their career paths in infotech. Meet exceptional women in DB Schenker IT Structures whose stories can be an inspiration to others. #WomenInIT
Today we are talking to Ana Costa, Service Manager in Global IT Land and Digital Solutions Team. Ana is a native of Brazil, she has lived in Poland for three years, and in May 2020, she joined DB Schenker. She proves that sometimes communication skills and the ability to get along with people are the most important to an IT Manager.
Ana, you are a Service Manager. Can you explain what exactly your role is and in which team do you work?
Yes, I’m a Service Manager in the Connect2Drive team. Connect2Drive is a mobile application designed for drivers in Sweden for shipment management. The Service Manager’s role is to act as a connection between the business partner, Land Transport in Sweden in this case, and the development team, translating demands into the ticket so all of the involved parts have enough information, such as workflows, mockups and technical requirements to work with.
What is your background? Is your education connected with technology?
Not at all. I have a diploma in fashion design from the University Tuiuti do Parana in Brazil.
That’s surprising, so how did it happen that you are where you are right now?
After my graduation, I've started to work as a Service Desk Agent. I didn't have any technical background, but I've learned everything on the job. That was the beginning of my career patch in the technology industry. I have worked as a Service Desk agent providing first-level support through phone, chat, e-mail, and self-service requests for around three years. Then I've got the proposal of transfer to another company branch in Wrocław.
What was your first reaction?
I was surprised by I decided to treat it as an adventure and came to Wroclaw without a second thought. To be honest, I didn't know too much about Poland at that time. In Brazil, we usually hear about Poland during history classes in connection with Second World War, so I wasn't exactly aware of what to expect. Now I like to be here. People are great, very respectful, and welcoming. I'm a big fan of Polish food – it's so delicious. Even if you go to the cheapest milk bar, you can be sure that your meal will be very tasty.
But back to your career path, what happened after you came to Wroclaw?
I was still working for my previous company, but my scope of responsibility grew bigger. I became a quality coach for other service desk agents and later was acting as a team manager. Then, last year I found the job opportunity at DB Schenker Technology Center Warsaw and applied. That was a big step forward for me. The position of Service Manager is more challenging compared to my previous professional experience. I think that my personality helps me a lot in my current job. As I explained above, a service manager's job is to provide smooth communication between partners and the development team. It is essential to understand and be understood. For me, it's so easy and natural as breathing.
Do you notice huge differences between Poland and Brazil, especially in professional business life?
The most significant differences are in the way how people interact with each other. Brazilians are usually very passionate about everything they do, and it is also visible in the way we communicate and cooperate. We get in very close relations with work colleagues. Unfortunately, it can work in both directions. If any problems occur in a project or team, it can also be transferred into personal relations between team members. In Poland, coworkers' relations are much more neutral, but it doesn't mean that they don't like their work colleagues. There can be a very hot discussion during the project meeting and after that everybody go to the kitchen and drink coffee together as nothing happened. You can have a different perspective than others on a professional level and still be good colleagues afterward. Poles just don't mix their personal and work life, and I appreciate it.
In Poland we have more and more females working in the IT industry, how does this situation look in Brazil. Are women in IT perceived as something unusual, or is it normal that girls are programmers, support desk agents, etc.?
I think that Brazil is much more male-dominated country than Poland. It is visible in all areas of life. Most of the politicians, business leaders are males. There are some women in IT, e.g., in the area of support, but a girl programmer is still scarce.
Ana and what do you do in your free time?
I have an artistic soul; my biggest hobby is drawing. I spend a lot of time this way, especially now during the pandemic, when we stay mostly home. I need to admit that I'm a nerd, 😊 a little. I love fantasy literature, and I'm a huge fan of all superhero universes. Additionally, recently I've started to write. I'm working on my own fantasy and adventure novel.
That sounds great, let’s keep the fingers crossed for the book.
Last question, do you have any advice for young girls, thinking about their future career in IT?
Yes, I would like to tell them to trust in their abilities and believe that they are capable of everything! The IT world is a book of opportunities, and there is a possibility of finding a job answering their interest and what they are good at. Things go much easier when you love what you do.
And don't let anyone bring you down!