DAWN CORNET

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Every month we ask one individual in our network a few questions about their way into tech, their motivation and their lessons learned.

So, let’s start from the beginning. Tell us about where you’re from?
I grew up and went to school in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I later went on to study Chemistry & German at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. During my Bachelor I spent an Erasmus year in Marburg, Germany. I then moved back to Belfast to carry out a year’s management program and on completion started by first job in NI in marketing/sales for a textile company. “Love” brought me to Switzerland, which ultimately lead me to working in technology.

What valuable advice did you get from your parents?
Always maintain a good work ethic.

How did you become interested in tech?
Actually by chance. My entry into the tech world coincided with me coming to Switzerland to find work. At that time in1998 there was a deficit of IT graduates and since I was always striving to be more efficient, enjoyed finding new solutions and solving problems the IT world seemed a good match.

What aspects of your work are you proudest of?
Having satisfied users, bringing them solutions on a daily basis. Our systems are there to empower people and add value to their everyday tasks. IT should be a benefit not a burden.

What drives you in your work?
Working in IT is never boring – it is constantly changing and you have to stay alert to keep up. This is the best stimulant to keep me motivated and energised at work.

What have been some of the toughest challenges of working in tech?Finding the balance between high performance solutions verses return on investment. IT comes at a cost and the sky’s the limit but it also has to be economical.

What advice would you give to other women in tech?
We (women) are generally more modest than men. So move out of their shadows and prove that you are as capable as your male counterparts to take technology to the next level.

Dawn ist working as Head of IT at SMS Concast. She lives in Zurich with her husband and her two daughters.

The interview was held by Valérie Vuillerat.

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