My Time at iomart in Working

Ayah-Sofia recently won a work shadowing experience through Safer Internet Day. She spent a few days with iomart, the digital storage organisation and then told us all about it. 

Having always been interested in technology, I jumped at the chance to work in the Glasgow headquarters of iomart when the opportunity arose in the form of a Young Scot rewards competition.

It’s no secret that there is a shortage of women in the technology sector. According to careers website The Muse, only a quarter of all IT jobs are filled by women.

Yvette Cooper, Labour Leadership contender, is rightly calling for action to reduce the gender gap: “It’s crazy that 98% of the code the internet uses continues to be programmed by men. Women cannot and should not be locked out of the jobs of the future and the digital economy we should be embracing."

Breaking through the Glass Ceiling

I found that in iomart the gender gap doesn’t really exist. Women are employed in all sorts of departments, from the marketing team to sales, in the technical support team and even on the Board of Directors! I think it is wonderful that there are so many opportunities for women, particularly young women, to get into the sector and break the glass ceiling in iomart.

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During my work experience, I learned that there were many jobs available that didn’t require a computing degree or fancy coding skills, from HR to PR.

I had great fun learning all about the ins and outs of the company. Every day we consumers use the Internet to check up on our emails, update our Facebook statuses, and download the latest music.

What most people don’t know is the process behind data storage. iomart is a cloud computing company which means that businesses use them to store and access data and programs in what’s called ‘the cloud’ (but is really data centres owned by companies like iomart).

Safe and Secure

There are many different types of services, from providing servers that process data quickly for lots of different websites, to private platforms that offer military-grade encryption to keep important data nice and secure. Cloud computing is a fascinating market to get into, and is very innovative!

On my first day working in iomart, I was asked to write a press release. I read some of iomart’s old news releases for inspiration, and I found them really interesting. I received some great feedback on my work, and learnt a lot about structuring press releases. I looked through the case study of the company I was writing about and selected the key points to talk about in the statement. It’s important to make sure that a press release is concise - I personally find it handy to come up with an outline before I start writing.

The next day, I wrote an article on the storage challenges we face from ever increasing data. I really enjoyed researching the topic and learning all about the history of data storage.

One of my colleagues made a really nice infographic to go along with the article, and I ran past all the technical information with an expert to verify its accuracy. I also received loads of tips about digital marketing and social media management from Andy, the Digital & Social Media Coordinator. I have a personal interest in this field so it was great learning all about advertising and the different social media management platforms.  

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Keeping Cool

On my final day, I joined the marketing team on a day trip to one of iomart’s ten data centres. I was fascinated by the servers and the cooling system process. Without the cold air coming through, the machines could literally melt!

I learnt a lot about how our information is stored, and was blown away by the number of wires needed to power the systems. I also found it really interesting learning about the back-up systems. If a server suddenly stops working, there is a back-up system in place to make sure the information is safe and sound.

I am really grateful to Young Scot and iomart for giving me this fantastic opportunity. In my work experience, I have learned a lot about cloud computing and have honed my writing and communication skills. I’m really looking forward to entering a career in communications when I’m older, and I think this placement gave me a great taste of what it’s like to work in the tech sector.