One of TechGirl’s goals is to promote women in tech. In our new series TechGirls @ Work, we want to shine the spotlight on women who work in the tech industry. We want to showcase their stories in hope to inspire others. Today, we are kicking off TechGirls @ Work with interviews in collaboration with Emark, a marketing technology company based in Haarlem, London and Barcelona.

Karin Beumer – Solution Architect

Let’s start with the most obvious question: what is a Solution architect? “I am the client’s first point of contact when it comes to the various features of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and how these can be used to achieve your marketing goals. To this end I compile a blueprint, queries and other documentation to help kick-start the whole process. I am also closely involved in the implementation of Marketing Cloud at the client and I also provide training on the necessary tooling, both inside and outside the Netherlands.”

What boyfriends are good for…

Karin has not always worked in tech; she studied art therapy. Fortunately for us, she made the switch to being a Solution Architect. “I’ve always been fascinated by technology but during my art therapy studies we never even broached the subject of computers. But like many students I also had a job, which is where I met my current boyfriend. He was already programming and he stimulated my interest in computers and everything to do with them. It’s thanks to him back then that I started building websites using HTML and CSS. When I eventually started using JavaScript, I realised that the time was ripe to turn what had by then become a hobby into my livelihood.”

The road to Emark

After becoming a programmer, Karin started looking for internships. “I soon realised that following an IT study is not the most important requirement in this line of work; it’s crucial that you have the ability to think in a certain way and that you have technical insight. This is something that’s repeatedly put to the test before you actually start working. I was accepted via TTP for an apprenticeship with Centric as a programmer. After a year I was approached by Jibes, where I then worked for over six years, finishing up as a project manager. This move was an important step in my career, because I’d noticed that the interaction between project management and IT really fascinated me. Looking back, it’s as if it was all meant to be. Via a friend I ended up at Emark, where, as a Solution Architect, I’m now able to perfectly combine my knowledge of IT with project management.”

A piece of advice

Of course we have to ask what Karin’s advice is to women in tech. “What I can say is that as a woman I think it’s actually easier to work in the technology sector than it is for a man. As a woman you’re quickly underestimated. Many women might be irritated by this, but I quite enjoy it. It allows you to surprise people and when they realise that you really know what you’re talking about, you’re certainly appreciated. In my experience, when a man and a woman in the IT sector have the same level of knowledge, the choice often goes the woman’s way. But the most important thing, obviously, is that you must have the required level of knowledge.”

These interviews are handpicked by TechGirl and are originally published on Emark – you can read the full interview on their blog. Want to share your tech story? Let us know! hello@techgirl.com

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Editor in Chief @ TechGirl.com. Owner of Tech in Heels. Online communication specialist, a coder in the making & tech influencer. Loves anything pink. Instagram addicted. Purple hair, don't care!

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