Gemma Hallett, PE teacher and start-up founder
By Gemma Hallett, PE teacher and start-up founder
My story doesn’t start with tech. I knew nothing about tech but, surprisingly, it was my career as a PE teacher that actually propelled me and laid the foundation for my career in the tech industry. As a personal tutor it was part of my pastoral role to ensure my students knew of options available to them for life after school; it would involve reading university prospectuses, searching course and college websites, local and national job sites, etc. The process was dated and wasn’t really motivating, but mostly it took sooo long to get any results or find anything suited to their age group.
I quickly realised that young adults no longer search information effectively, quite generalised here, I know, but they are so used to receiving specific and filtered information direct to their smart phones that it seemed alien and unnatural for them to go looking through a range of external sources. I realised this back in 2011; it seemed I was the only one that saw this. I knew I was on to something and after a while of researching and running the idea past year group after year group, I left teaching after 8 years, took the plunge, and launched the miFuture app and website in 2015.
Life as a techie
Recently launched, we’re still generating buzz around our brand and meeting with organisations to join our forward thinking approach. It’s been hard work getting the technology completed. We discussed the merit of launching a bells and whistles, fully-loaded app and website, but thought against it. We decided to launch very basic versions of each; focussing on the very core problem that we are the solution to; ‘opportunity matching and instant apply’. This allows our users to shape our growth, we could have spent well over a year creating what we thought was the best experience for our users to find out that they only used 10-20% of the functions.
So we’ve stayed true to our core objective, and through engaging and building relationships with our users it will be them that shape the development of our app and web platforms.
It is my vision that miFuture app and website is used by every 16-24 year old throughout the UK. I can see them now; sitting watching EastEnders, at the football game, or out for dinner or at Costa with friends. Their phone beeps… their matches come through and after 6 seconds and a series of swipes left and right they have applied for training courses, apprenticeships, jobs, courses and voluntary positions without ever lifting a pen. These young people will be at the leading edge, with aspirations, goals and opportunities at the tip of their fingertips and the technology to instantly chase these without braking their stride.
I couldn’t have achieved this without the skills and knowledge of those that have studied Tech and earned their qualifications and or gained their experiences, it is them and their skillset that is the hero of this story. Without these developers and project managers this idea would have stayed a frustration in my mind, with their expertise we now push the careers industry into a really exciting direction, one that can never go back. And that is why I love Tech.