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How to Get the Best Out of the TechUP Experience?

Learners during the Welcome Event in Durham, 10 June 2023

Following the Welcome Event in Durham last month and the online Welcome Event last Saturday, all four Click Start by TechUPWomen courses are now underway. We are incredibly excited to see our learners progressing through each module and are cheering them on every step of the way.

While it can come with many rewards, breaking into new areas of expertise at any age takes a great deal of effort and motivation. At TechUP, we put various structures in place to support and guide our learners towards successful completion of our programmes. This ranges from an industry-aligned curriculum that blends online teaching with in-person networking events, to a dedicated team of tutors, career coaches, mentors, and industry speakers, and a buddy system that promotes collegiality and peer support.

However, we understand that to benefit from all of this – and to enjoy the process along the way! – it’s important to develop the right mindset and a strategy for learning. Whether it is processing a wealth of new information, making use of all the opportunities the course has to offer, or knowing when to take a pause from it all – striking a balance between pushing and being kind to yourself can be a challenge. That’s why our own TechUP team, tutors, and Catch22 career coaches have gathered a few tips to help our learners get the best out of the TechUPWomen experience.

From TechUP team

Prof. Sue Black

  • You will probably get stuck and not know what to do at some points, don’t worry, this is normal. Have a chat with your tutor and/or your buddy, they are there to support you.
  • Don’t be shy, make friends with others on the programme, you are all in the same boat and can support each other along the way.

Prof. Alexandra Cristea

  • Use this course as the great networking opportunity that it is – make sure to connect with your peers, mentors, tutors, TechUP staff, and others.

Kathryn Moore

  • Remember, no question is too silly to ask.
  • Learning is a journey, not just a moment in time.
  • Discover Durham and find the tree with shoes for leaves when you visit!

From TechUP Tutors

Banke Adewale

  • Let go of self-limiting perspectives to fuel your innovation – we sometimes self-sabotage without even trying.
  • Do a bit of research on ‘tech career pivots’, especially among women. There’s plenty to learn from others!
  • Think about doing tech projects on your own, as a hobby – without necessarily looking for employment.

Uffa Modey

  • Arrive to each session with focus and determination to achieve all the learning objectives for the session. Feel free to communicate if you think you are not achieving the learning goal.
  • Ensure that you practise the learning content as much as you can. Tech skills are mastered over time, therefore getting relevant experience means that you will need to practise the lessons. This also includes understanding how the lessons are applied towards real-world problems in the tech sector.

Rebena Sanghera

  • Keep your learning simple. Keep your notes together, make them in a format that is easy to access, make sure you know how to find what you need. It doesn’t have to be digital!
  • Keep track of links that have been shared – with a note to say why it’s relevant, so when you come back to it, it has context.
  • Quizzes are a STAR learning method – they tell you how you are doing, they remind you what you don’t know, and they show you when you’re improving.
  • Find out all the different ways you can ask for help and who you can turn to. It’s easier when you have the option to address the right person and ask in a way that suits you.

From Catch22 Career Coaches

Claire Churchhouse

  • For any task that seem overwhelming or daunting, break it down into smaller parts and tackle each one on its own.
  • Ask for help from your buddies, peers, tutors, mentors, or career coaches.
  • Ask questions to help you understand, I can guarantee there will be others thinking the same thing! Be the person that speaks up if you’re not sure and need clarity, or ask for it to be explained in a different way.
  • Take breaks and switch off. If it’s all a bit much sometimes, disconnecting yourself can really help. Take a walk, read a chapter of a book, listen to a podcast, but try and avoid scrolling on social media, as it can fog your brain even more.
  • The way you think about things can make a huge difference, mindset is important. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

Sharon Foster

  • Create the right environment for studying. Be aware of distractions around you, including telephones, social media, TV, and anything you know will take your focus away from your task.
  • Interact with others in your cohort. If you are struggling, shout out and ask for help. How about using your buddy?
  • Remember that no question is a silly question!

Rob Stone

  • Remember your C skills; do Communicate, be Creative, be CuriousCollaborate, Cooperate,and Care.
  • Remember to ask for help. You don’t have to struggle on your own, reach out to your coach or tutor.
  • Treat yourself – when you have completed a challenging session, reward yourself with your favourite treat.
  • Become your own Storyteller. Create a narrative – selling your skills is a great way to get ahead.
  • With a strong sense of purpose, you will be more committed. Ask yourself: why are you doing it?