Today I introduce to you two new ‘ambitious young professionals’ already making huge strides in the world of work.
First up is Megan Galley, recent graduate from Vega School of Brand Leadership in Cape Town and up-and-coming big shot photographer (excuse the pun) for the Model Agency. Ryan Dias has been plying his trade in the IT industry, doing wonders so far in specifically mobile software development.
Megan’s way into the industry was when the Model Agency approached her with an internship opportunity while she was still studying photography. “I found that it was a good way to open doors into the photographic industry.” Ryan explains that “after being exposed to TV and PC gaming from a young age already, [he] was always fascinated by the fact that someone could create an interactive visual experience out of some lines of text.”
It is never easy initially getting your ‘foot in the door’ in whatever career you hope to get into, and both Megan and Ryan can testify to the challenges that they have faced.
For Megan it would firstly be long hours; “The working world is very different to studying, while I have always been a hard worker, when my lecture was done I could go home. At work I only get to leave once work is done.” And the second thing is lack of inspiration; “When starting out in a company as just an intern there is little creative work to do as its mostly running around in the beginning. That has changed now that I can do my own shoots and I have a lot more creative freedom.” She encourages others who are also considering a similar career path to satisfy that creative need outside of work so as to remain inspired and passionate when working professionally.
Ryan admits: “In an ever-changing industry, it has been a bit of a challenge to stay up to date with advancements in technology, particularly the various programming languages and frameworks which are available. It is an unavoidable fact that you will be continuously having to learn new systems, frameworks and practices. I would highly recommend that any IT hopeful should equip themselves as best as possible in non-language-specific programming fundamentals, particularly ‘object oriented programming.’ This will lay a solid foundation for any future learning pursuits.”
On the question of if they have felt well prepared and equipped for the projects already completed this year and what’ll be coming up in the near future, Megan confesses: “I think the skills I learned while studying really helped, for example time management, self discipline and creativity. I would say that I have learnt more working than studying. In the beginning some work tasks were a little daunting, but now I feel pretty well prepared for any task.”
“With every project that passes, I feel that my skills and confidence is built up, to a point where I do feel comfortable with most projects that come my way. The first project or two you deal with in your career (or at a new company) will probably be very tough, but it is important to push through and learn as much as you can in those times. Nothing can prepare you for a task like experience does,” Ryan advises.
So, what both Megan and Ryan can agree with is the importance of putting yourself out there, making mistakes while doing so, but then learning as quickly as possible from those mistakes.
Here are some closing words of wisdom from our two bright Industry Hopefuls:
- Megan: “It is very easy to work yourself to the bone when starting out to try and make a good impression, but you need to realise your limits as well; don’t let people walk over you but find a balance to show your commitment.”
- Ryan: “It is important to assume responsibility for your own acquisition of knowledge. Learn as much as you can, even if it means dabbling in some coding in your spare time. Lastly, Google is your best friend.”