From a non-technical background to working in a technical position
By Tim Koekkoek on Mar 05, 2012
Is it possible to come from a non-technical background and have a technical job? You might think that no way, but in the past 10 months I have learned that where there is a will there is a way. Even if you have non-technical studies, but you are interested and willing to work within a technical team, you can do it! I will tell you how I did it.
My name is Yonela and I am working as a Technology Sales Representative Intern for the Manufacturing Retail and Distribution (MRD) sector within Oracle. I studied BA Social and Marketing Research at the University of Johannesburg. During my studies, my dream was to become a Branding Assistant and eventually a Branding Manager, which is why I chose Marketing. When I was presented with the opportunity to be completely out of my comfort zone and become a Technology Sales Representative Intern I thought It might be a very good start for my career. I then chose a different path to fulfill my dreams, a different one than the one I imagined in the beginning which is turning out to be one of the best decision I’ve made thus far. My journey at Oracle South Africa started in March 2011 and just as I thought it was challenging as I had no technical background and had to start from scratch I had to learn the jargon that is used, what the abbreviations meant and what each product actually does.
What is my role here? My aim is to raise the profile of Oracle within companies in the assigned market sectors, win new Technology business, either directly or through partners and grow Oracle's share of business in the MRD sector. I didn’t think I’d know what I know now when I first started here. The one thing that helped me though is that I’ve been showered with people throughout the organization that were always eager to help me out even people that are outside of my line of business. The extensive training that I’ve had throughout the year has also helped me immensely to be where I am today from the regular Brown Bag sessions, iLearning training, Skills and Personal Development training that I’ve attended to the Sales Bootcamp. All of these training programmes have all contributed to helping me grasp so many terminologies and product information that only seemed like a dream in the beginning.
How did I find the transition from a recent graduate that knew nothing about IT, to a girl that can have a conversation about Oracle products to IT people and is on her way to selling products? I had a great opportunity from the beginning: The Oracle Bootcamp which was a great way to introduce the different products that Oracle has in a relaxed environment away from the office. The Bootcamp is a weeklong training. We were divided into small groups which would be our teams throughout the week and were given a case study which we had to develop a solution for in the end. In the end we had the opportunity to present our solutions like we would in real life. This opportunity not only allowed me the platform to learn more about the Oracle products, but also gave me the opportunity to network with other new employees who are not graduates. Oracle is definitely the place to be when you are a young professional that is passionate about something and is willing to be developed. All of the tools to succeed are here at your disposal, you have the opportunity to start your career in a huge international organization, you have mentors and managers that are always willing to help, you have outstanding training available the question is are you ready and willing to work hard to succeed?
What have I learnt? In the short time that I have been at Oracle I have learnt a number of things, I have learnt that the IT industry is a demanding yet exciting industry to be in and it can be cut throat. I also learnt that people are always willing to help if you ask. Lastly I learnt that it is never too late to learn something new but only if you are willing to learn and willing to work hard at making it happen. So
I’ll leave you with this quote by Christopher Reeve: “As so many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then when we summon the will, they soon become Inevitable. So dare to dream and work hard for what you want and you’ll see your dreams unfold right in front of you”.
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