As winner of the Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) Graduate (Partner) award in 2021, Ayesha Khokhar joined Empired’s graduate program as a Graduate Consultant in the Perth Data & AI practice in 2018.
Ayesha quickly found herself working autonomously on client sites, immersed in important projects and becoming the ‘glue’ within project teams, relied upon and sought after for her expertise and ability to deliver consistently excellent solutions with incredible poise, motivation and positivity.
What inspired you to get into the IT industry?
I've always had an interest in technology because of movies or shows I used to watch as a kid. I remember that I used to be obsessed with creating my own website, and coding in general. I’m surrounded by people in the IT industry in my family, so it was only a matter of time I also joined.
What courses or programs did you take and how did this impact your choices?
After university I started helping out the Girls Programming Network (GPN) in Perth as a mentor, which inspired me to attend many IT-related meetups and events held by groups like WiTWA [Women in Technology WA]. These events were awesome because they showcased so many inspiring women in technology who deserve to be recognised.
Who or what has been the most influential driver?
The people I work with have been the most influential drivers. The team is very supportive, and they encourage me and others like me to strive for more. I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for the amazing people I have met along the way.
What are some of your professional ambitions?
I want to focus on growing my leadership skills to dive more into the management side of things. I also want to take the opportunity to mentor new graduates and juniors, just as others took the time to mentor me.
What do you think could be done to further enhance the experience for graduates coming through to the IT sector?
Having mentors who were also new to the industry when they first started would benefit graduates starting their career path. The reason this would help graduates is that they would be able to see just how much people can grow within the industry with the right mentorship and guidance.
Organising or attending events such as the WiTWA events would also help graduates learn from more people in the industry. Having a supportive network is something that all graduates deserve to have.