A Fintech Specialist, Software Engineer by profession and Mentor equipping women in tech for thriving tech careers
Tell me about yourself i.e., line of work, education, and career?
I am a Fintech Specialist, a software engineer by profession (BSc Computer Science, MSc Information Systems & MBA Global Finance). I develop and grow products that make digital financial services easy to access, easy to use and more affordable so that customers earn, make, grow, and spend their money with ease. Alongside this, I mentor and equip up and coming women in tech for thriving tech careers, through The Tech Career Masterclass.
What inspired you to pursue your line of work/business and how much work did it take for you to get where you are now?
I always like to share how my career in tech started off as what I thought was a huge “blunder.” I had applied for a different program at University but to my demise was given Computer Science. In spite of my excellent high school grades and all my effort to negotiate a change of programs, they just would not allow it at the time. For a couple of years, I felt lost with no clue where this was taking me. However, one thing I have always committed to, in life, is applying myself wholly and practising excellence in what I do. Through this and God’s grace, I found myself loving tech and its impact on the world, especially the world I was seeing around me. I interned at a Bank, and seeing the impact of the work I did, on the thousands of customers we served, made me feel I was in the right place. I have worked on products that serve not just the entire country, but for some products, continental regions. Tech presents so many opportunities for improving the livelihoods of people, more so in emerging markets. Today, I am privileged to help build products that drive financial inclusion across the African continent, contributing to SDG 9 and consequentially SDG 1. I believe a financially empowered society is a progressing society and getting to help move this needle forward is an honour.
Every journey has its share of challenges; what were yours? Did you ever feel like giving up? If so, what kept you going?
The main challenge I faced earlier in my career was struggling to define my career path. Unlike other career paths that have tried and tested routes, for example, the road to becoming a Chartered Account, General Doctor or Pilot, the tech space is so broad and continuously evolving, new roles emerge every day, from Technical Writers to Quantam Machine Learning Engineers, Scrum Masters, Tech Lawyers, Gaming Program Managers, Cloud Architects, Professional Gamers, Ethical Hackers, Data Scientists, Art Directors, CTOs, CIOs (and yes it could be a Chief Information Officer or Chief Innovations Officer or Chief Intelligence Officer), CPO (Chief Product Officer), CSO Chief Security Officer. I could spend the whole day, most of which did not exist, or I was unaware of when I first studied Computer Science. How I managed and my encouragement to those starting out in their tech careers is, Read Read Read, Network Network Network. That is how you discover what is out there and eventually find your place. Read books, read the news, subscribe to tech magazines (TechCrunch, Wired, TechZim etc.), effectively use LinkedIn, (if you don’t know how visit techcareermasterclass.com). I made it through reading, networking, and committing to excelling where I was, even though I did not know what the future held and by being patient. When you excel where you are, doors open ahead.
Any notable milestones/achievement you would like to share?
Most recent – Mentor of the Year 2020 Finalist | WomenTech Global
What is the big picture i.e., where to from here?
I am passionate about developing and managing Digital Financial Services within Africa, leaving that space miles ahead from the time I started. There are so many opportunities to serve and impact our world and only one finite lifetime to do so. Alongside this, I will continue providing mentorship to up and coming women in tech and promoting diversity in the workplace.
What word of advice would you like to give to others reading your story?
My encouragement goes out to young women who are starting off in their tech careers,
1. Always thrive to get better, in your technical & soft skills
2. Read, read, read! Readers are leaders
3. If you want to grow faster, find a mentor/coach, invest in yourself, at times it will take money to make ‘the’ money.
You are capable of anything if you put your mind to it. Fight for and protect your dreams and goals. Remember, the only way to predict your future is to create it. With God, nothing is impossible.
One/two interesting facts about you
I love reading, writing & jigsaw puzzles.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL GIRLS IN ICT DAY!!!
Connect with Yemurayi
LinkedIn: Yemurayi Chinyande
LinkedIn: The Tech Career MasterClass
Youtube: The TechCareerMasterclass
Website: yemurayichinyande.com, techcareermasterclass.com