After being a Lab Technician for almost three years, Kyla Osborne went looking for a career that would inspire her.
While having always been interested in technological advances and how quickly the industry is moving she initially imagined it to be a complex jumble of letters, numbers and symbols on a page—a secret language understood only by developers. After enrolling in Mission Ready, however, she realised ‘tech’ actually combines innovation, creativity, problem solving and human-centered experiences, and found her perfect role within it. We caught up with Kyla to hear about her journey so far.
What got you interested in tech?
I realised first-hand how important technology was to my workflow as a Laboratory Technician. For example, when I was on the frontlines processing PCR COVID samples during the Omicron surge, a robot was introduced to the lab that could assist us in our work and perform tasks equivalent to what a human could do.
How did you hear about Mission Ready?
After career counselling I knew I wanted to explore UX design, I did a quick search of UX Designers in Auckland on LinkedIn and looked to see where people studied and how they got into the role. I even reached out to some people to find out what the job is like. I noticed the Mission Ready UX Design Accelerator seemed popular and past students had such positive things to say.
Tell us about your experience of Mission Ready. The highs, the lows, and how you persevered.
Overall, my experience at Mission Ready was fantastic. However, I distinctly remember how terrified I was during the first week when we jumped right into using design tools like Figma, which I had never used before! I quickly reminded myself that I was not alone in this journey, and many of my classmates were also navigating the world of design tools for the first time. Thankfully, our daily evening classes provided a safe and non-judgemental space where us fresh UX Designers could “fail fast and learn fast”, as our mentor would often say. What added to my experience at Mission Ready was the amount of support available to me, by mentors, fellow peers and even past students who were happy to connect and chat with me on LinkedIn.
What advice would you give someone interested in studying with Mission Ready?
I would say go for it as you have nothing to lose! Make sure you do your research on different roles in tech beforehand so that you choose the right accelerator for you and your career path. Don’t hesitate to reach out to past Mission Ready candidates and ask for advice if you need – from personal experience, the Mission Ready community is very kind, welcoming and always willing to help!
Tell us about what you’re doing now. How did you land the role?
I am currently a Learning Technologist at The University of Auckland. I would not have been able to land this role without my UX Design knowledge and experience from Mission Ready. The role combines empathising with university students to improve their online learning experience, consideration of accessibility needs within the learning environment and collaborating with stakeholders (academic staff) to build and maintain online courses. Being a past University of Auckland student myself also helped me land this role, as I have first-hand student experience with the online courses.
Any tips on getting hired?
Don’t underestimate the power of a well-crafted cover letter and tailored CV. I was able to secure this role by simply applying through Seek without any personal connections to the hiring team. Your CV and cover letter play a crucial role in getting you noticed and called in for an interview, so it’s important to put time and effort into preparing these. It is also important to be well-prepared for the interview by thoroughly reading the job description and anticipating potential interview questions. I found it helpful to write down as many possible interview questions as I could think of and outline potential answers, ensuring that I had thought through various scenarios. You could even use tools like Chat GPT to review the job description and generate potential interview questions for you.
How do you feel about entering an industry that’s historically been the domain of white men?
I feel that entering the tech industry as a woman provides me with a valuable opportunity to contribute to the advancement of diversity and inclusion, while bringing unique perspectives to the field. I have become passionate about this topic and actively participate in women in tech groups like She Sharp, GirlBoss and Girls in Tech, where I can network and connect with like-minded women in the industry. It is great to see more diversity in this field and I am proud to be a part of this.