My mentor is the lively, vibrant and focused Raquel Seville. She works at BI Brainz, a company that focuses on the creation and presentation of analytics and company insights. Through her position as CEO for the Caribbean region and years of work at Cable and Wireless, she has undoubtedly been steeped in knowledge and experience in the field of information technology.

Over our meetup at Brew’d Awakenings, a nice café spot, she shared stories of her experience as a female in the IT industry. One key concept I noted was that of having to prove yourself in order to be taken seriously whereas males will be more readily accepted on merit. Raquel also relayed the key leadership quality of innovation as a need in the field of IT. She articulated that the industry is ever changing therefore there is much need for constantly reinventing what it is that is unique about your business. Raquel has also written and published her very own book which is one of my goals in life.

I told Raquel about my experience in the industry through the various hackathons and computer science projects that I have been a part of. In addition, I let her know my hopes and dreams and what motivates me. After expressing this, I was pleased to realize that Raquel and I had a lot in common. We both have a dual interest in the arts and IT (good job at match-making YCDI!). She actually did a minor in a language and has a bachelor of arts in computer science, meanwhile I would like to study film and computer science.

Not only are we similar in academic interests but also in our outlook on life and philosophies. We both agreed that society is oriented to push us towards a workaholic lifestyle where you live from pay check to pay check whereas the life we wish to live is one filled with passion, exploration and a little risk-taking.