Success stories is our brand new blog series where we asked people in our network to share their own story. At Berlin Buzzwords there are a lot more white male attendees then others. In order to change that, we want to encourage other people who do not fall into this category to join us. Hence we asked people in our network who are not from this group, like women or people of color, to share their own story: What drove them to move forward in a world where they were the only one?
Today, we hear from Andrea Griffiths who is new to Berlin Buzzwords. We're excited and grateful to share her story in the following! Welcome, Andrea!
I’d never really considered the Tech Industry to be for me as a Latina, veteran, mother of two. I was 35 years old and changing careers, quitting my job and having no income was not really an option, my husband was in the middle of a sales internship with very limited pay so for me to really do this there had to be a different kind of opportunity. But it’s never too late to be who you’re supposed to be. I don’t care how old you are. If you want to be here, you belong here. You, too, can learn and be part of this. A lot of it is about community. I started helping out and volunteering where I could with the Open Source/Operation Code community. Then one day, I learned about an apprenticeship opportunity. I wasn’t told the company’s name, but I was told it was a “career-changer” based in San Francisco. At this point, I have two kids, a large goldendoodle, and a husband. But the people around me believed in me enough to share it with me, so I applied. It was at GitHub—and I got it. That encouraged me to continue to try and open doors and windows for as many more people as possible. Now, when I go back to Colombia, it’s so important for me to preach the gospel of opportunity. I think, “Look at me. I came from this place, and now I work for GitHub. Everyone here is capable of that, too. They just have to work hard and find a supportive community.” You can learn so much from the community, and lean on them to help you achieve your goals—and once you have, don’t forget to give back.