I Wanted To Know More About the Tech World, and LMF Helped Me. This Is How a Community Works
One year ago, I was finishing my exams for my Master’s degree in Economic Development and International Cooperation.
As often happens, once you have finished university, you are not immediately sure what the next step could be. Either you continue your studies — so go after a doctorate — or you start a tiring and sometimes counterproductive search for your first job.
My research started in May 2020. During my last exams, I started to send my resume for positions I considered interesting and in companies that I was most passionate about.
Right from the start, I faced a systemic problem in my beloved country, Italy. Unfortunately, Italy does not invest much in young people, not even those with prestigious qualifications. According to the Italian system, internship positions are often not paid or underpaid because: ‘we are inexperienced, and we must be trained from scratch’.
This is why when, in September- after five months of useless job research in Italy — I had the opportunity to leave my country for an opportunity in Greece.
In fact, after less than three months, I found myself part of the project of my dreams. It is a 95% financed project by the European Union, which aims to help women become entrepreneurs, especially in sustainable urban development.
But life is very curious. Although I had found my dream job, the project was only in its early stage and did not occupy my days in total. That is why, when Sonya Barlow contacted me in March 2021, I felt very lucky. That is how I joined the LMF Network community as a Data Analyst right away.
When you start working for a company, whether it is famous or not, we never know what it is like until we live in it. The United Nations themselves do not pay their interns. They expect them to pay for their expenses, food, accommodation, insurance, among others.
I’m talking about an organisation that one of its primary purpose is: “promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion”.
In comparison, LMF Network, a much smaller and much younger non-for-profit organisation, made me feel pampered and welcomed since the first week.
In fact, three days before starting to officially work with them, the founder of LMF Networked contacted me to present me with the opportunity to apply for a scholarship in a course called “Switch into tech”.
So, I applied for this opportunity. After a few days, I discovered that I had won the “Future Leaders Scholarship”, funded by Jolt and Balderton. It awarded five rising female tech talents from LMF’s community the chance to attend Jolt’s Switch course — a programme designed to create pathways for those who want to begin a career in tech.
Switch is a highly curated 120+ hour programme led by industry experts, teaching practical skills and tools for career-changers breaking into the tech industry. During the course, we were introduced to methods in business strategy, product, marketing and sales, data and personal skills and taught us how to repurpose our existing skills to thrive in a commercial role in tech.
I recently graduated from this course, and I can say that I feel much more confident. I am also much more aware of the roles and positions needed in the tech world. I have acquired the notions and skills necessary to understand in detail what kind of job I want to take on. I have also gained the knowledge to navigate this sea of vast job opportunities.
This is what it means to be part of a community. If you want to learn more, you will always find someone willing to help you. At the same time, you will not hesitate a second to help someone else who needs your advice or your support. I am proud to have met incredible, intelligent, and passionate people in the LMF Network and the Switch course.
I always thought I wouldn’t like to ‘network’. But in reality, it is wonderful to be able to share our experiences and knowledge with others because each of us has a different life path from the others, and what we know and take for granted may be unknown to others.
One of the few certainties in life is that we never stop learning. Even if we think we know everything, the world is constantly changing. Counting on a community full of wonderful women and eager to help others is one of the best ways to never fall behind and share our passions.
This blog contribution was made by Eleonora Papini.
Eleonora is originally from Italy, she is passionate about human psychology, sustainable development and international cooperation. Eleonora works as a Project Implementation Officer in a European project about urban sustainable development solutions aimed at valuing the young and female entrepreneurship industry.
In 2021 became also a Data Analyst for the LMF Network and content creator for their blog.
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What is LMF Network?
The LMF Network is a global social enterprise (not for profit) focused on empowering, enabling & educating women and marginalised groups into tech, entrepreneurship & digital. We specialise in designing and delivering accessible programmes and supporting a global community. We’ve gone from a brunch club to a social good brand based on what the community wanted. We are a real community run by real people.