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  • Publish Date: Posted 8 months ago

Amelia Winters now works as a Junior Software Engineer in our People division, having started in our Graduate Academy. Amelia is passionate about LGBT+ rights and has worked with colleagues to help organise our pride celebrations this year.

What does your morning look like before you start work?

I usually wake up about an hour before work starts. I nap until 20 minutes before work, get up and put on the clothes I prepared the day before that are lying right next to me. I put on some light make-up and go on my 10-minute walk to the Loughborough office.

What brought you to Access? What role did you start in?

When I graduated, I started applying for Software Engineer roles around the UK. I talked to lots and lots of companies, but Access seemed the most friendly by far. I was really glad to be accepted. I started off as a Graduate Software Engineer and have since moved into a Junior Software Engineer role.

What skills have you had to work hard to develop? How did you do that?

The first thing I’d say is communication. I struggle with communication, as I am neurodivergent and how I communicate different emotions comes off as something different to neurotypical people. The book "Non-violent Communication" has helped me a lot. One of my Access colleagues recommended it. I've read it since, and it has greatly improved my life inside and outside of work.

For example I've always found cosplaying super fun and recently, I cosplayed at London ComicCon. Having developed my communication skills, I found it so much easier to talk with strangers who were cosplaying as characters from the same show we both love.

The second is coding! Even though I am a Software Engineer now, I found it difficult to get started. I couldn't get my head around how to start and write any code or set my environment for about 2 years! But once it clicked, I loved it.

Cosplaying as Lumine at ComicCon

What book, film, TV series or music artist do you always recommend to people?

She-Ra and The Princesses of Power. It is a really wholesome show and I love it.

What’s something that you’ve been proud of recently?

Collaborating on our Pride Campaign with colleagues from around the business!

I love making meaningful change, and I think the campaign is making Access a nicer place to work.

Getting the Pride flag flown right outside our HQ has been a highlight for sure! It feels so great walking into the office and seeing it.

You also represented Access in the Loughborough Pride march. Have you done things like this in the past? Why do you think it’s important we celebrate Pride at work?

I organised the collaboration with Loughborough University for the Loughborough Pride March. I was on the Loughborough University LGBT+ Association committee before joining Access and helped organise the 2022 Pride March. Taking part in Pride as part of the Access team made me feel even more welcome at work, and hopefully helped spread the message that the tides are turning, and you can be yourself at work. You do not have to hide being LGBT+ at Access. Celebrating Pride at work makes a clear statement that Access stands behind LGBT+ rights.

Who do you consider to be your role model?

I do not have a role model. I think life is too complicated. But some people I would look for guidance on their areas of expertise would be Mark Rober, Micheal Stevens, Seán McLoughlin, and Marsha P Johnson.

You joined us through our Graduate Academy. How did you find transitioning from University to work? Was there anything that Access did that made that transition easier?

Walking with colleagues in the Loughborough Pride march

The graduate program was fun. The camaraderie of 30 people all going through the same thing was nice. It also allowed me to help so many people easily, as we were all doing the same thing! The transition from University to Work was smooth. At University, there was a lot of theory to learn which at times was a bit tedious. Going into the ‘real world’ and getting results motivated me quite a lot! The thing that helped the most during the transition is how welcoming and friendly Access was from the get-go. I’ve had interviews at different companies, and I was scared I would be stuck at a job where I would hate going to work and people would be mean. So, Access being so welcoming on the assessment day and then during the program helped tons.

How do you bring your personality to work?

I am a very focused and motivated person. During work, I get on with my tasks one after another at a rather quick pace. I feel accomplished after completing tasks and it gives me the motivation to keep going.

I'm also really curious. If I don't know something it bothers me. This leads me to complete many eLearning courses and ask many questions!

I also really like helping people, so if I hear of something needing help I jump on the opportunity immediately.

What’s something you have learned from your teammates at Access?

I've learned how to create a more jovial atmosphere in meetings. In the past I've been too focused on a task at certain points. But now I've learned that if the atmosphere in the meeting is more jovial then everyone works better!

What are you most looking forward to as your career continues to progress – what would you like to do in the future?

I would love to become Diversity and Belonging champion. I am waiting for the applications to open! I would love to create more of a sense of community for LGBT+ people at Access, as I think camaraderie helps so much to live our values of “Love Work, Love Life, Be You”. And in terms of more technical things, my background is in Artificial Intelligence, so I would love to implement machine learning in the products that I develop.

Enjoying views over Loughborough during a hike