Life is unpredictable and sometimes our career path as well. We see it with our own employees at QESTIT – some have begun their career in a completely different field and transitioned into becoming amazing software testing experts. We strongly believe that it is never to late to start something new, and we have many such examples!
One of these examples is our colleague Karolina Wasalska – a single mother of 2, originally from Poland, who tipped her toes in many different branches: nursing, gastronomy, and tailoring. This soon to be 40-year-old, is also a certified make up artist. However, she was always interested in technical topics as well as digitalization, and in 2021, Karolina joined the program organized by zam (Zentren für Ausbildungs-Management Stiftung) in Styria. Founded in 2006, and financed by AMS and Land Steiermark, zam helps companies to find employees while focusing on equal opportunities for women.
After the initial courses, Karolina saw that the academically certified Software Development program is starting soon. “I knew immediately that I wanted to take part in it – I applied and after two assessments, received a placement”, said Karolina.
In her studies, where she is focusing on many different areas, she is required to do an internship with one of the companies who are part of the program, which lead Karolina to QESTIT. Tatjana Soos, the Head of HR and Business Operation at QESTIT Austria who initiated the cooperation, found the concept extremely interesting: “we have quite a good number of women among our consultants at QESTIT AT, especially in Graz, but my goal is to keep increasing it.”
The trial weeks
After the initial company presentation, QESTIT received 7 applications and decided to organize a 2-week trial for all the applicants at the office in Graz, to get to know the possible candidates even more and see how their interests as well as skills can fit our software testing and QA world. Karolina remembers: “I can remember how this was one of the best internship weeks I have ever had, we had interesting tasks to do every day and there was always someone from the team taking care of us.”
At the end of the trial weeks, the final decision had to be made. So how was Karolina chosen? “She actually chose us”, said Tatjana, “her unbelievable positive energy amazed us, and we found a possibility for her to work on a project to gain experience in software testing. She even won our client over!”
Currently, Karolina combines her time between work and classes at the university, and when needed, can take learning hours from work. Togetherness, honesty, respect, and good communication are most important for her, “and all of that can be found here”, she said.
“If everything goes according to the plan, after her education has been completed at zam, we would like to fully employ Karolina”, said Tatjana. She added: “we have had such a positive experience with zam that we are planning on working with them again this year. We are looking forward to meeting new candidates and hopefully have the opportunity to have someone doing their internship with us!”.
So, what are the main things to keep in mind when applying for this educational program? Most IT areas are possible to work in, even without a university education. However, there is one thing that stands out the most: Motivation! “The feedback from the companies is clear: Motivation is the most important! said zam.
Karolina shares the same opinion when it comes this cooperation and has a couple of tips for new candidates: “It will be a rocky road, but with consistent work it will be possible. When you manage the first semester, you will manage everything! Therefore, just do it and take care of yourself – don’t forget to also relax 😊.”
As a conclusion, Karolina shares: “I am extremely happy to be able to work in this company and think I am really lucky in this regard”. Dear Karolina, we are here the lucky ones 😊
Are you motivated by Karolina´s story? Find more about the zam program or look into our current open positions!