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IT Career Paths at Elantis – Employee Spotlight with Keira Holman

By Elantis on January 5, 2022
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If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further! Keira Holman, Solution Specialist at Elantis, shines bright in the spotlight this month, where she shares her journey of not knowing what she wanted to do after graduation, to growing a tech career that is oh-so–inspiring! From a young age, Keira has always been drawn to computers, technology, and video games. After growing up watching her father play computer games, Keira followed in his footsteps, which led her to carving her own path in IT. During this interview, Keira shares her biggest piece of career advice and shows us how just being yourself can take you anywhere you want to be.

Andrea Nwobosi: Tell me about what you do here at Elantis.

Keira Holman: I have been with Elantis for about six months now and I have been a part of so many different projects, in so many different ways. I have done training for different clients, documentation, robotic process automation, and working with Nintex forms. Pretty much anything you can imagine and it has been wonderful. I have loved every second of it.

Andrea: I’m really curious to know about your career path and what led you here, to Elantis. Tell me about your career path and how you got to the role that you’re in today.

Keira: My dad works with the oil field and in that industry. Out of school, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I just went into instrumentation engineering technology, which is what he went to school for. Just following in his footsteps! It was a two-year program and in the second semester, we ended up taking a simple course in C++ (which is very old coding language). I LOVED it so much that I completed the first year and then transitioned into the digital media and IT program. I knew instrumentation was just not for me. I needed to focus my career on programming and computers because that’s what I love to do. So that’s what I did. I ended up in the digital media and IT program doing applications development, which was amazing. I learned so much and that’s how I ended up in the tech industry.

Andrea: That’s so neat to hear how things shifted for you and it sounds like now you’re in a career that you love and that you’re passionate about. Aside from following in your father’s footsteps, was there anything else that, perhaps growing up, you always had a knack for?

Keira: Absolutely. From a young age, I was always drawn to computers and especially video games. I grew up watching my dad play the computer and it just kind of drew me in. I’ve always been kind of attuned to technology and I just picked these things up very quickly. It’s just been something about myself that’s been since I was a young child..

Andrea: So, it sounds like your father was a really great inspiration for you. Did anyone else influence or inspire you to take this career path? Perhaps, any women in the industry who you look up to?

Keira: Any woman in the tech industry is an inspiration to me. Growing up, it was not so common to see women in the industry and I think that drew me in a little bit more, too. I’ve always been a little bit of a different character, so I wanted to just follow that. I thought, why not just be amazing at something and show that women in the tech industry can be boss and be awesome at it.

Andrea: You are boss at what you’re doing, so keep it going! Outside of work, what are some other things that you’re passionate about? What are some of your interests beyond your day-to-day work here at Elantis?

Keira: I’m a big gamer. That is one of the biggest things in my life. I like being able to sit down and play video games. Obviously, Netflix is a big one, too. You have to decompress the end of the day. There’s nothing better than watching some trashy reality TV show to make you feel a little bit better! Other than that, I am very passionate about my family. Being able to have fun and not take yourself too seriously are the mottos that I live by.

Andrea: I can get a sense that you carry that with you to your work here at Elantis—not taking yourself too seriously, having fun, and I always see you with a smile on your face and joking around with the team, which is so important and it makes Elantis what it is! It’s the culture here. So aside from the culture that we have, which perhaps you knew about or didn’t before you started at Elantis, what attracted you to this company?

Keira: When I was first looking for jobs in this industry, the first thing that I noticed on the Elantis website was the video of Dave talking about Elantis. He talked about what they stand for, his approach to his company, and how he wants the company to be perceived. It was so amazing to me because I’ve worked for a number of different companies in the past, and they were missing that emphasis on culture and on making sure that you come to work happy and that you’re getting something out of it—that you have progression. It just really drew me into it and I was like, “I need this job! I need to work with these people.” They are my people and that’s exactly what I thought when I joined. I came home after my first day and I told my fiancé, “These are my people. I’m so happy and this is where I’m meant to be!” Everything about Elantis and its culture is why I’m here. Growing my knowledge and being given opportunities to learn is so important to me. I want to fill this brain full of knowledge and I can do that here, which is amazing.

Andrea: It’s incredible to hear that your expectation of Elantis turned out to be the reality! It sounds like it’s even better than what you expected. What is a moment that you are most proud of in your career so far?

Keira: Anytime that I can bring my personality and just be a positive person to a client, to an employee, or a team member. I’m most proud of the fact that I can get to wherever I want to be by just being myself and that has been the most important thing to me in my whole entire life. I’ve always been a big advocate for just being yourself, and I’ve gotten to many places, like where I am right now, by just being myself. I feel like that is my biggest accomplishment. I can stay true to my morals and what I believe in. You don’t have to be aggressive or bullish. You need to be a positive, nice person, and that’s what I’ve done. I’m very proud of that.

Andrea: I love that concept—of having a values-driven career, where you can bring your full self to work. You don’t have to try to be someone else, you don’t have to try to fit into a job description. You can use that as a guide, of course, but you are given that freedom to really flex who you are, own who you are, and grow into who you want to be. It’s incredible that you’re able to find that here and you’re able to bring your full fabulous self to work everyday. Is there anything else that really gets you excited to come to work in the morning and is something that you’re passionate about?

Keira: I just love coming to work everyday, to see all the lovely faces at the office. I feel like just being here is such an important part and any day that I learn something new is a good day. That’s what gets me up in the morning. That’s what makes me excited to come to work and to do my job. I want to just learn something new every day. And I’ve continued to do that ever since I started here, so it’s exciting.

Andrea: It sounds like you have a really in-tune growth mindset: that you want to grow, you want to learn, and your journey for learning doesn’t end. But have you ever encountered any challenges in your current role or prior to Elantis, and how did you overcome them?

Keira: I think the biggest thing for me at previous places that I’ve worked is they didn’t have the culture mindset. It was just, “Come to work. Get your work done.” There was no camaraderie, no celebration of your successes—the expectation was to just do your work, then you’re done. And that was a big struggle for me, as someone with such a positive attitude who needs to have those successes celebrated and to have a family to come to work to. As hard as it was in some ways, being able to overcome the negativity was one of my biggest successes. I think it brought me to where I am today and I’ve learned so much from being able to overcome other people’s negativity and their perception of who you should be. As long as you can stay true to that, you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be, whether it’s ten years after you graduate or a year after you graduate. It may have taken me a little bit to find this place, but I feel at home and I’m like, “This is it for me.”

Andrea: What would you say to someone who might be new in their career in IT or technology, or to someone who is considering a career at Elantis? What is one piece of advice that you wish you had known when you were in that position?

Keira: Ask questions and take every opportunity that you can to learn something new. It may not mean something now, but later on, anything that you do or learn along the way will contribute to who you are in 10 years and 20 years. Experiences are what build the person and build your career. Put yourself into something, even if it’s not really what you were set out to do. Ask questions, like “Hey, what are you doing?” Be attuned to what other people are working on. There’s this mentality at some workplaces where, “That’s not in my job description” is such a big thing that people throw around. Do it because you’ll learn so much from it and you’ll become a better person for it, too.

Andrea: You never know where those skills and that knowledge might take you—perhaps it’s to your next role or it’s just something that you will always have in your back pocket. That mindset is bound to take you places because you’re open to new experiences. So what is next for you, Keira? Where do you see your career in technology taking you?

Keira: During my first week at Elantis, I was working a lot with Rhia, who is an amazing person here at Elantis. I said to her, “I want to be you when I grow up!” I have the desire to get to a place where I’ve learned along the way and I can give mentorship to somebody else. I feel like that’s where I see myself getting to. To be aware of everything that’s going on and have the knowledge to teach somebody else new to the industry. I want to be someone who can invite somebody new to the tech industry and can have them under my wing and teach them the ropes. I think that’d be great.

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