Megan Castleton, Web Analyst at Yard Digital
by Megan Castleton
I would say that my experience with computers and the internet when I was younger was no different to anyone else of my age, using it primarily for social media and the occasional casual browse online. I decided to do IT at GCSE as I knew I had some interest in it and I enjoyed the practical lessons, but it was only when I received an A grade that I knew that this was something that I was good at that I also enjoyed.
After leaving school, I studied IT and Computing throughout college, which led to me being accepted to study Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Swansea University. I loved my time at university, while I was one of only three girls in my class, I didn’t feel isolated or intimidated – if anything it gave me a real confidence boost. I knew that if I could stand up in a class of 200 engineers and solve a calculus question, I could walk into any job interview happily and be taken seriously.
After graduating I considered going travelling while I worked out what I wanted to do long-term. To fund this plan, I took on a job as a Tenant Liaison Officer and worked part-time in a bar, before an old friend from university approached me after a couple of months asking if I would be interested in a Jobs Growth Wales position at his place of work. I jumped at the chance, figuring that it was a great opportunity to gain commercial experience and a consistent wage, but also that I would be finish with plenty of time to still travel in the summer.
A few months into this position, I stumbled across an advertisement for a Web Analyst position at Yard and decided to go for it. Completely unexpectedly, I ended up getting the position. Of course, this meant putting off my travelling plans, however I really believe the sacrifice was worth it as I’ve learnt more in my 7 months at Yard than I ever did in school or university.
My biggest career success to date has been moving from the analytics team to the developer team at Yard – I’m now a Web Developer, which means that while my days are challenging, I’m always learning. When I solve an issue or work out how to implement something, I feel a real sense of achievement, which I think is so important in any job. At first I felt daunted by the experience my colleagues had, but I’m really happy that I decided to pluck up my courage and just go for it. I love my current position.
I would encourage anyone to consider the digital industry as it’s constantly evolving, so you’re forever learning and your work life will always change. As a young woman in the industry I understand that it can be quite daunting to consider such a male-dominated industry, but I love what I do and feel like I bring so much more to the table than just my technical skills. It can be hard work and you might sometimes feel a bit intimidated, but overcoming that will give you more confidence than you ever thought you could have.