Welcome to the next feature of our Leaders in Tech editorial series. Speaking to leaders in the industry to capture their stories, career highs and lows, their trials and successes, their current company and their role, most recent projects, advice to others, and the individuals who they most look up to in the industry.
Today, we talked to Tecia Grinnage, Lead Business Intelligence Analyst at Merck, to find out more about why she joined the tech industry, what her role entails, what are the challenges she faces, and her advice to aspiring engineers and testers.
What is your current role and responsibilities?
I am a Lead Business Intelligence Analyst. I lead a team to identify critical information for reporting and data analysis.
What was your journey like?
My journey was a long one. I was laid off from my job, and they offered me free training as a layoff package so I took a network engineering course. Once I completed that I got a job as a consultant. It was the best thing I ever did because I learned various applications. The biggest perk I found consulting was I gained insight first hand into various companys’ cultures.
What drew you to the tech industry?
When I was in high school I wasn’t sure what I wanted as a major. My high school offered Computer Science so I took it for one semester and have studied it ever since.
Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?
For inspiration, I look to Dorothy Vaughan. She was an early pioneer in technology and responsible for helping to send a man to the moon. Notwithstanding all obstacles placed before her, she managed to install, program, and integrated an IBM mainframe that IBM employees could not for NASA. She is featured in the movie Hidden Figures.
How do you keep motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
I created short-term goals for myself. I don’t look at obstacles as permanent but as temporary situations. I will research to see if it can be resolved or if there is a work-around.
What are your current goals?
I plan on exposing more young girls to STEM, whether that be through mentoring or teaching.
What are you the proudest of in your career so far?
It is probably being honoured by my peers for my work performance.
What is the favourite part of your job?
Finding show stoppers or holes in the application/system.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Ensuring that your team and others involved in the project are all on the same page.
What’s the most important risk you took in your career and why?
I left a Fortune 500 company to work for a virtually unknown Start-up company. Let me tell you it was worth it. I wore many hats, but I learned so much. They can’t teach that experience in school.
What have you learned from your experience so far?
If you are not flexible and into learning, this field is not for you. Technology changes every day. That’s what makes this so exciting. So, be prepared to learn on the fly.
Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring engineers and testers who want to grow in the tech industry?
Be open to new ideas. Learn from your peers and be adaptable to the ever-changing technology.