Kate Lowe #FounderOfTheFortnight
Tell us about Tech Us Together, what do you enjoy most about it?
"Inspire, explore and connect through technology." That's the Tech Us Together (Aka TUT) mission and I think perfectly sums up what I'm trying to do with TUT. I want to change peoples ideas of what it means to work in technology. Before I went on my university placement year, I thought the only job title in tech was a Programmer and that they must have done everything to do with IT. But now I know that definitely isn't the case. With TUT I have speakers that work across all areas of technology either in jobs people haven't typically heard of such as a Solutions Architect or a speaker will work in a field that's not associated with technology but they actually use it on a daily basis like a fashion designer. Providing exposure and insight to these speakers might help young students realise they have lots of career options they didn't know about and these talks might also inspire professionals to make a career change because they have transferable skills that can be used in jobs they didn't know about. My favourite part of starting TUT is that I've gotten to meet some really amazing and interesting people that want to work with me and see value in what I'm doing.
What challenges do you face regularly and how do you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I have at the minute is time management. I've just launched a business and I'm in my final year of university so have to make time for working on the business, meeting with potential collaborators, coursework, studying for exams and trying to have a life! I'm "managing" all of this by being a big list maker! I have a whiteboard where I will write down all my tasks for the week and then I try to prioritise them and stick to the plan. After that my biggest challenge is not getting sidetracked when I'm on the computer. I've just listened to The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris and he's suggested a couple of sites that you can set up to block any sites you want for a set time...I've yet to try this as I enjoy taking 5 minutes every now and then to check social media so I'm trying not to be too hard on myself just yet.
Looking back, what’s the best decision you ever made?
The best decision I've ever made was going to university at 28 to study computer science. It was really scary having had an eight-year career working in the events industry and then one day deciding to change my life and do something I had absolutely no experience in and would be starting again from the beginning with people ten years younger than me. But I'm so happy I took a risk, it's opened up so many more doors for me, I feel like I'm the most creative and focused I've ever been and I have made lifelong friendships with two girls on my course. I also went on a university-led trip to San Francisco to learn about entrepreneurship, without going to uni and that trip I might not have started my own business.
What's been the highlight of your career so far?
When I launched Tech Us Together, I expected the only people that would turn up would be my friends and family. But on the day I had almost 50 people turn up and say to me afterwards that they were leaving feeling inspired and wanting to know more about different careers in technology. For me, these comments were everything. It's exactly what I set out to achieve and I know that I can help inspire people at any stage of their career.
What’s next for you? Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
Once I finish my exams I plan on sitting down and seeing how I can make Tech Us Together profitable. I also want to see if I can come up with any other business ideas and then start writing a book :)
What’s the most common misconception/myths/old wives tale you come across?
With regards to the industry I'm in I would hear all the time that you can only work in tech if you're good at math. That is definitely not true, I'm rubbish at math but still smashing it! It probably does help but it's not stopped me and shouldn't stop other people.
Tell us one surprising fact about yourself
So...although I worked in events and I'm a pretty social person that enjoys networking and meeting new people, I've had really bad anxiety in the past and at one point I stopped going into the city centre for a few months because I couldn't be around lots of people. I opened up to my family and close friends and have been able to overcome the worst of it. Some days I can still feel anxious but nothing stops me going into town anymore!
A more lighthearted fact about myself is that I went to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood in the summer of 2012 which was a life-changing experience thanks to the people I met out there.
Top 5 Instagram accounts?
@entrepreneur - Content that inspires me
@marvel - I'm a massive Marvel fan
@mr.teddybunny - Because bunnies are cute!
@ashimashiraishi - I started rock climbing a couple of years ago...This girl is 16 and she is AMAZING.
@buffbunny - Love her content and workouts
What would you say to yourself 5 years ago?
Stop being so serious, you don't have to have it all figured out.