Name: Fiona Martin
Job Title: Oracle Alliance Executive
Tell us about your role in a couple of sentences:
An Oracle Alliance Executive is really a business development role - focused on looking for the joint opportunities for my company and Oracle to work together to do things better for our clients. The role requires a broad and deep understanding of my company's Oracle products and services coupled with a broad understanding of Oracle's products and market presence. These are then combined with an understanding of client requirements to deliver leading solutions into the market. The role contains elements of Sales, Marketing and crosses a number of lines of business and industry areas so is always varied and interesting.
Why did you first get into IT?:
Like many people I got into IT by accident. I was working as a drawing office clerk when computers were first being introduced to the work place - the first computer I ever used was a dual floppy IBM PC - with the operating system on one disk (showing my age now!). I guess my logical brain meant I quickly grasped how to move to electronic drawing office records. The aptitude was recognised by my boss and I was sent to university day release to study. From this I went on to be a programmer, DBA and spent many years working as an Oracle E-Business Suite consultant.
What advice would you give to people, especially women looking for a role in IT?
That there are plenty of roles in IT which may not fit with your perception of IT roles. IT offers not just a wide variety of different roles but many exist with the flexibility to fit in with life including flexible working and home working. IT needs many different types of people with different skills and experience - a good business analyst combines logical thinking, problem solving and strong communication skills - it is not necessarily all about deep technical and coding skills - whilst there is plenty of opportunity to be creative in those types of roles!
Have you encountered any issues with being a woman in IT?
I've regularly been the only woman in a meeting - not a problem - but do find sometimes have to stand firm to not end up as Team Secretary!
Any final comments?
I'm not sure I would have chosen IT but it has been really good to me - I've been lucky enough to enjoy a wide variety of experiences and cultures as part of my career - something that not many careers offer so easily. I would advise any woman who is not sure what they want to do - give it a try - IT has many varied options - there is something for everyone if you look!
Follow Fiona on Twitter: @fionaemartin
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