Cecilia Fischer-Benitez joined Enova this year for a new role as a Tech Learning Coordinator. Before her journey intech, she spent four years working at a school as a Director of Recruitment and Retention. For her next job, Cecilia knew she did not want to stay in the same field at a traditional educational facility. Instead, she sought a career in the growing tech industry.
Her activism in getting young girls interested in tech through mentorship and getting them involved in programs like Chick Tech revitalized her long-time interested in being in the tech industry. Her journey to a career in tech took a lot of sacrifice, commitment, and most importantly, self belief.
Now at Enova, Cecilia is on the learning team helping new engineer hirees get acclimated to their new work environment and finding the team that is the right fit for them. She is also in charge of community outreach and helps coordinate community events with Chicago’s tech community. Cecilia shares her advice on how you can change your path whether it is a different job or major in college.
Get your foot in the door and be active
Cecilia began by working with Groupon as a way to get her foot in the door and introducing herself to the tech industry. Beyond that, she started going to tech events around Chicago to further explore her interest in the industry. She said, “There are resources out there for you and you need to prepare yourself. You can’t do that alone, so go out there and actively learn. You will never know unless you go.”
While getting some experience at Groupon, Cecilia also mentored young girls interested in tech and co-founded Latinx Code with a friend she met through her network. To further understand the industry, she also took some coding courses through free websites like Codecademy and attended free coding classes and workshops. It was through these efforts that new opportunities began to unfold before her. Cecilia said, “Don’t brush things off because it seems too hard.Taking chances is what makes one grow.”
Find a motivation through mentorship
What motivated Cecilia to take steps towards a career shift into tech were the many organizations that support women and people from diverse backgrounds. Through her immersion in the Chicago tech community, she made friends and found mentors who support and guide her. On finding a mentor, Cecilia suggests to ask the person out for a coffee and come prepared with questions. “Do not be afraid to find a mentor, because a lot of women are looking to help and want to see more women succeed.”
What Cecilia wants young girls to know
“There are many talents needed to make a place successful and there are many ways to get to the finish line.”
Contributor: Chi Huynh