In this episode, Elyse shares her inspiring career switcher story, taking us on a journey from her days as an auditor to her current role as a tech professional working with Azure Cloud. You won’t believe the twists and turns in her path, but Elyse’s determination and passion for learning and growing will leave you feeling inspired and ready to take on your own challenges. Her witty commentary and relatable style make this episode a must-listen for anyone considering a career change or looking to expand their skills. Don’t miss out – tune in now and join the conversation!
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Alternate Titles For The Algorithm:
From Owning A Fashion Brand To Designing Wearable Tech
How To Cultivate A Career In Wearable Tech
Hey, y’all, it’s me again with nobody wants to work though. Podcast. My name is Elise Robinson. I am the host, and this episode is going to talk about my career switching story. Most people don’t know that I used to be auditor in my past, past life.
And not an It auditor, a real life auditor, because I’m so deep into this tech stuff now, and I’ve been on lots of interviews and podcasts and been invited to different things. So I want to talk about my career switching story, which is sad. It’s not sad, but I will start off talking about my love for tech and how I got into it when I was a child. I’m going to date myself, but I’m really not that old. But around nine years old, I wanted to know how those websites worked.
I got my first computer. It was a packer bell computer. It literally had four megabytes of Ram, because we’re like in what, you can get 32 gigs now, right? 32 gigs max on most computers.
And I found this website because I wanted to know how those websites worked. It still exists. I’ll put the link down in the comments, and it’s called Lisa Explains It All, I think. And she’s the same age as me.
She’s the same age as me. And funny enough, I chatted with her briefly on Facebook. I had reached out to her, and it took her a whole year to find my message, but it was during 2020.
And I told her thank you, because without that website, I don’t know if it would have been easy enough for me to learn and all that other kind of stuff.
So, yeah, around nine, I wanted to know how those websites worked. Found that website, got into it, started building these little dumb websites. I still remember my old website. I’m not going to name it. I’m not going to name it because you could actually find it online.
But I was pouring my little heart out. My first little blog. I don’t know, were they called blogs back then? I don’t know. I don’t know.
I guess they were called blogs.
I built it on B two. B two, which is now WordPress. Which is now WordPress. And then that turned into taking classes in high school and college.
And I was going to be a computer science major, but I couldn’t find an internship. I mean, I must apply it to thousands of internships, literally. And they kept saying there’s a shortage. And I’m like, there’s obviously not a shortage, or else I would have an internship. Right.
And come to find out, H one BS were deep. Me being a black girl at the time probably contributed to it, too. Black people as a whole are deeper into tech now than even five years ago. Right?
And so I switched to accounting and became an auditor for a number of years. And I loved it. I really did love it. It spoke to my business side. I say my business and my tech side.
Business is my serious side. Tech is my artistic side, businesses my cutthroat side.
So, yeah, I could be either or.
I got to do fascinating things that most people don’t get to do.
Classified, secret things. One position I did pensions and health plans. Pensions as in I’m throwing out a company, but let’s say Adobe. Adobe has to put your 401K monies in there on time and then make sure that they’re not stealing it, right? Because that literally happens.
I got stories for days.
And then Obamacare ACA, also known as and making sure that your health plans were in compliance with Obamacare, which was so boring. So boring. I hated that part. But pensions were interesting. I got to talk to CEOs of large companies, small businesses, medium businesses, all the way down to the secretary and basically demand that they give me this information that I wanted or you would be sanctioned.
Right. And then I moved on to working for the military, and I really loved that because I was real auditing. I would get up and do presentations and meet with officers and airmen. I was literally an authority figure. They hated me.
They hated me. I was always the most hated person in the room. That’s the life of being an auditor, but taking a stride because you’re trying to keep the public safe, whether it’s internal, external audits, or, like I said, pensions or financial statements of, let’s say, Citibank or something like that, a public company, you want to make sure that your money is safe.
And I had a lot of authority to tell people what to do and what not to do as a civilian. So that was interesting, me being a tall black woman, and I was bald headed. I loved it. I loved it. So, yeah.
And then life happened. If you know my story, then you know that my mother passed from blood cancer, and I had to quit my whole life in order to take care of her and help out my family. So I quit my audit job, and I never went back. I ended up moving to my second home of Mexico. I didn’t know a damn thing about Mexico.
Never been in my life. But that’s why I went with my Southwest Points, because that’s the only place I could afford to go.
I fell in love with Mexico. Mexico City. Specifically. I always have a special place in my heart for Mexico. Mexico City.
It helped me heal and more, and I built a business there. I built a cloud business. I didn’t know what the cloud was, and so I had to fall back on my tech skills there. I learned AWS, and then I pounded the pavement and would work with real estate companies in order to bring them into the 21st century. Right?
And I built, like, smaller zillow on AWS.
So, yeah, learn the skills over those couple of years and then life happened again, right? COVID 2020, I didn’t know when I was going to see my family again, so one way to stop isolation and to not go crazy is I taught myself Python. I didn’t know Python before that. Well, I got deeper into it and so one thing I had never been on was Twitter. They said Twitter was popping.
So I got my ads on Twitter and started tweeting out my daily progress on Twitter. Somehow, some way, people started asking me for advice and I’m like, I’m not even in tech, like officially. Like, this is some stuff that I just played with as a child.
And then one thing I knew was that you needed exam vouchers and I mean, I didn’t want to pay for them, so what I did was I got some free stuff, got scholarships, I got all this stuff and then I would tweet that out and they’re like, well, how do you keep winning all this stuff? This is like every week I was winning something, I was like, just Google it and search for it, that’s what I do. And so I turned into business and that’s how Switching Attack came about. And I got my first customer, my first day of launching, and luckily I launched around like Black Friday for Thanksgiving and so I was in a whole bunch of publications for that.
Mine is kind of somewhat no code since I use Google Sheets as the back end. So I was featured on like the no code founders and things like that. So I celebrated my two year anniversary last month. So excited about that. And then once the US opened back up and it was, oh my, I ringed, I’ll just keep it off.
It was safe to do so. It was safe to do. So I came back to the states and during that time I was looking for a position. I wanted to be a cloud engineer, but I didn’t know what it took to become one, honestly. So a lot of failed interviews, lot of looking crazy.
Good thing I don’t get embarrassed very easily, I could care less, move along, right? And so in that time I got recruited by Microsoft and I started at Microsoft, right.
I moved back to the states and the rest is history. So yeah, that is my career switching story. But let me answer some of my own questions that I have along the way.
One of my questions is what do people out there need to know about switching from going from audit to tech? I will say the tech role that I was in at Microsoft was very, very similar to audits. Lots of research, lots of critical thinking, lots of meeting with different people and figuring out what needs to be done. Lots of interview questions. As an auditor, I never worked as a team though I was always in charge of my own audit.
So I was lucky in that regard, which kind of spoiled me, I guess. So when I got to Microsoft, I was like, oh, I have to work in a team. There were some projects where I worked on it by myself, but yeah, mostly as a team, a very large team at that. And I talked about the catalyst that made me change my career because I was just always in love with tech and I wanted to see if I can get in there again. Hell at this.
It took me seven months to find a position in the middle of COVID and during that time I was like, I should just give up and go back to audit. So there’s that. Especially when I was selling interviews and I didn’t know anything, so there’s that. So I need to study more. One thing I’m good at is research and that is probably one of my weaknesses when it comes to tech.
Tech once you just stuff out off the top of your head and I’m like, why would you want someone to do that when it changes constantly, right? I am a researcher. Audit is research, accounting is research. People think it’s one plus one equals two. When it’s really not, it’s law, it’s research, it’s interviewing people.
And so tech has been hard for me and spitting off the top of my head because one thing I want to make sure of is that I’m right. You can’t go into audit and say you want to make sure that you’re right on what you’re demanding someone to do. So that has been a struggle from audit to tech.
Did I have support for the people around me? There really was no one around me when I was doing it. Actually, you know what, I have a friend, he’s a software engineer, so he supported me, he supported me along the way. We were programmed together and things like that during COVID But honestly, my family didn’t really know.
I don’t really like telling them my plans because they be trying to stop me from my crazy plans. They try to stop me from my crazy plans. So there’s that.
But yeah, I had definitely had support and what did it cost me along the way?
Time is the thing is always the thing, right? Time waits for no one. So if you’re thinking about making a career switch career change, time waits for no one. Next week will be here like next week. Tomorrow is not promised.
What do I love most about my new career as a tech professional? You can do so many different things as long as you put in the time and the work.
You can do SAP, you could do cloud and there’s three different major clouds. You could do salesforce, you could do programming, I mean the networking, the list goes on, right?
But to switch from one career to another could be very difficult. So there is also that the positives and negatives about my new career. The negatives are the constant learning. Literally there was a button that moved and we were like, Where’s the button? So here today, gone tomorrow.
Like your brain could explode from all the knowledge they want you to just keep in the back of your head. And that’s another negative I was telling you about, audit. I’m a researcher, so I’m always wanting to research before I answer a question to make sure that I’m 110% right. Tech, they’re like, can’t do that, can’t do that at all.
What would I tell someone that wants a career switch into tech?
I would say study as much as you can in your field, but that’s legit. Literally impossible.
I mean, I’ve been on interviews and they don’t even ask the same questions over and over again. So I don’t even know how you would prepare for one. I really going blind a lot of times and then just hope and pray that my pretty smile helps.
But make sure you’re able to talk about the basic things in your career. Like, you know, Kubernetes is big in cloud, so learn Kubernetes. You have to learn whatever’s hot at the time.
Also, I will say that I didn’t have any certifications when I got recruited by Microsoft. I got someone in the middle of recruitment. I think I got my Scrum Master and my product owner in the middle of it. And I think I passed. Yes, I passed AZ 900, which is a very basic one for Azure, in the middle of being recruited.
So I can’t sit up there and say that I had Certs. But certs will keep you on a path of learning, help you get the knowledge that you need. So that’s the only reason why I’m a proponent of absurds.
Some tips and tricks I wish I knew.
Tips and tricks. I would say work on the behavioral part of interviews, practice interviewing as much as possible. Also, do not apply to companies that you really, really want to work for in the beginning so you can get some practice. Apply it to like lower level ones so you can practice and know what to do and what not to do during the interview. I will say that don’t apply to Google and markets all VMware, whatever and blow those interviews because you might not get another chance.
So start off with some midlevel ones, whatever places. If you did get an offer, you’d be like, okay, I’ll work there. But if you didn’t, no hard feelings. Right outside of that, I think that’s pretty much it. And how I want to talk about me switching from audit to tech.
At this point, I’m really trying to combine the two of business and tech, which seems like that would be GRC. So that’s what I’m doing now. I’m looking for more of a leadership type of position because I’m literally working with a bank in my other country and I don’t like it. So I’m looking for a full time leadership position in GRC. So if you’re out there, you see this video holla at me and fully remote outside of that, I think that is it.
Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for watching. If you’re thinking about making the opposite direction, you can holler at me. We can set up like a consultation or something like that. And if you’re going from audit to tech, you can Hollywood meet up a consultation.
This concludes the interview for nobody wants to work though. And please check out switching to Tech.org. And I have my tech freebie website on there. This podcast, my monthly seminar that’s coming up this weekend. I’m going to do live LinkedIn reviews and I try to hold a seminar every single month for those that want to switch into tech or any career in general.
I like to do live resume reviews like LinkedIn reviews and please subscribe and thank you for watching. Bye.