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#STEMStories: Temisan, Software Engineer, Canada

1. Introduce yourself, who are you what do you do?

My name is Temisan Iwere. I am a Computer Science graduate from the University of Toronto. I currently work as a Software Engineer at a digital consultancy - Publicis Sapient

2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?

I always wanted to be in tech even when I didn’t know what it was called. I’ve always been intrigued and fascinated by technology. I love to solve complex problems and understand how machines work so it seemed like a good fit. I lived and schooled in Nigeria until I was 18, after which I moved to Canada to study Computer Science at the University of Toronto. It was a huge change for me and my first time ever in Canada; it was difficult for me to adjust but 6 years later, I graduated and landed my first software engineering job!

3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings?

Living in Canada, there’s definitely a lot of cold, dark, mornings; what makes me jump out of bed is knowing that I’m working on/contributing to something that would make life easier for a lot of people and also, being able to point to a product and say “hey! I worked on that!” is such an amazing and empowering feeling especially as a black woman in tech.

4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story?

I raise my spirits by positive thinking. When I start to doubt myself or feel small, I make sure to remind myself of all my accomplishments so far - big or small; I remind myself of my journey, my capabilities and all the other obstacles I was able to overcome and how I also doubted myself then but came out on top and I arrive at the conclusion that this too shall pass.

I also make sure to talk to family and friends who prop me up and remind me of the most important things and always make me feel better.

5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this?

I have a lot of role models. My mum is one of my role models. I look up to her a lot because of all that she has accomplished. She enriches the lives of everyone she comes across and is ultimately kind, hospitable and caring. She is a social development worker and a social justice activist and approaches every project with a strong passion for change.

I also look up to a lot of other black women in tech doing amazing things - the firsts and onlys - I make sure to always listen to their stories about how they got to where they are now and all the battles they face. It inspires me.

6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time?

Stop worrying so much, believe in yourself, you belong in tech and are going to do amazing things.

7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM?

  • Don’t ever doubt yourself, you’re smart and you belong here!
  • Network as much as possible!
  • Never stop learning!

8. How do you measure your success?

When you are happy to wake up everyday to do what you do, and are also making a positive impact and giving back to the community, that’s how I measure success.

9. Where can we find out more about your work?

Connect with me on LinkedIn :)

10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you?

LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/temisaniwere
Twitter: @misan_iwere