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It is a common misconception that engineering is an industry for men, two apprentices share their experiences in the field.

Débora O’Brien

Software Engineering Apprentice, Google

When I was in school, I never considered going into an engineering role. I heard “women are not good at maths and science.” This is unfortunate as I believe many girls make decisions based on things they hear growing up. Untruthful sentences repeated enough times become the truth in our minds.

When you decide to make a bold move like change towards a tech career after a certain age (I was 33 when I started studying Python), it’s important to have opportunities that get you started in the industry.

After I finish my apprenticeship, I’m sure I’ll have a guaranteed space in the job market.

Deborah O’Brien

The best part of being an apprentice at Google is the trust we get as participants. It is also great having a diverse and inclusive workplace. You not only see representation, people like you being successful, but it gives you a sense of belonging. You feel more comfortable to ask questions or even speak up when you feel the need. For any minority that is something that can truly make a difference.

After I finish my apprenticeship, I’m sure I’ll have a guaranteed space in the job market. I wouldn’t have this if it weren’t for the time I spent at Google. Now, it’s up to me and I see incredible opportunities ahead of me because of my time as an engineering apprentice.

Alicja Malinowska

Software Engineering Apprentice, Google 

I was not interested in technology from an early age. I think part of the reason was I did not have a lot of access to technology and opportunities to learn about them when I was growing up. I got my first computer when I was 14 and there was no computer in my house before that.

When I was at school, I was steered towards humanities rather than science. I was told this was what I was good at, even though I enjoyed doing my maths homework. Eventually I did a Master’s degree in Psychology and opened my own business.

Later, I took interest in programming using free online resources. This is what enabled me to start learning programming and I found I really enjoyed it. Google’s mission to make information universally accessible truly resonates with me. 

Only a few years ago I thought programming was typing ones and zeros in some magical way that I would never be able to understand. Today I am a software engineering apprentice at Google, learning from the best engineers and contributing to the company’s engineering projects. 

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