Up-skill to Tech

Chemical Engineering graduate and mum of two, Julia Pye, worked in the food and beverage manufacturing industry for over 20 years, from product development to packaging design, process optimisation and operations management. 

When Julia found out about SIGNAL ICT Grad School’s SHIFT programme based in Christchurch and Dunedin, she realised her substantial management skills could be enhanced by adding tech knowledge. The practical project-based aspects of the programme also appealed. As an active volunteer and board member, Julia was interested in exploring work in the tech side of a social enterprise – a big change from the corporate world.

Julia and fellow students on the SHIFT programme went on to develop a conference website for Rotary, as part of the SHIFT studio projects. Then an opportunity came up to complete her 200-hour SHIFT industry placement with the Methodist Mission Southern (MMS), an innovative charitable enterprise with several educational technology projects on the go. She worked with the research team from the famous Dunedin Study to help develop an app that ECE teachers can use to help pre-schoolers develop self-regulation skills.

Julia was offered a contract role with MMS after her industry placement and really enjoyed being part of an organisation that “does great things for community sectors, which really benefit from the opportunities tech products offer”.

Julia is now an IT Business Analyst at Silver Fern Farms, utilising both her operational management experience and her new tech skills to develop tech-based business solutions.

SHIFT is offered in Christchurch and Dunedin and has very high employment rates for graduates. For more information on SHIFT visit signal.ac.nz/shift or call 0800 990 024  to chat to one of the team.