Stories Of Women in Engineering - Ida Knapik - ALTEN Group

Stories Of Women in Engineering – Ida Knapik

Interview with Ida Knapik

My name is Ida. I’m a Technical Business Analyst at ALTEN in Poland. 

Can you describe your role and responsibilities?   

My main responsibilities as a Technical Business Analyst are to create technical user stories based on business requirements, provide business analysis throughout the course of the project lifecycle, drive and manage meetings with stakeholders, and collaborate with Project Managers, Product Owners, and the development team. 

I’m working in the banking industry, in cybersecurity. Before I started, I had no idea how complex cyber and technology controls were! Together with my colleagues, we are creating an ecosystem concept consisting in a data-driven environment in which several applications cooperate with one central data source.  

In addition to my job, I am pursuing a doctoral degree at AGH University, Krakow. My research focuses on Artificial Intelligence, specifically on the ethical and social aspects of AI. 

What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day?   

What I enjoy about my daily work is that I am never bored. Every day brings different challenges. I’m not a big fan of repetitive tasks and this job guarantees me a lot of variety. I enjoy digging into problems and finding unconventional solutions, and sometimes I operate at high speed. In addition, I can chat a lot with various people, lead meetings, and cooperate with my talented colleagues, which is great. I really enjoy it!  

What inspires you to become a better person and professional each day?   

What inspires me to become a better person are my loved ones, who support me in every decision I make. Thanks to their encouragement I’m not afraid to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. I believe that’s the best way to grow, both in personal and professional matters. What’s more, I’m very curious about the world, I like to read and expand my knowledge in different areas. I continuously practice humility and gratefulness for both the small and big things in my life.  

What is your vision of the place of women engineers in the professional world? 

I believe women are very good subject experts, with great communication, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills. These are essential skills for project success, no matter what the field is. I would say that soft skills are the new hard skills. Technical expertise can be learned, while most soft skills are innate. For me, it’s fundamental to spread awareness among young women – to encourage them to enter the engineering and technology world. This is a huge step towards building a diverse, equal, and respectful work environment and work culture.  

What advice would you give to other women engineers who are trying to achieve a work-life balance? 

The most important thing is to believe in your knowledge, your skills – to believe in yourself – because if you don’t, nobody will. Be confident in your beliefs and try new things. Be an engaged team member, but always remember that a company is not a family. Try to enjoy your offline life, as well as the online one. Learn from others as much as possible, dare to accept challenges, and don’t worry about other people’s opinions.  

How can we encourage more women to pursue engineering education and careers?  

Engineering careers can be inviting in many aspects. First, there are loads of jobs available – a large number of companies are seeking engineers and technical experts, starting with the banking industry, through health and the public sector. What’s more, there are lots of areas to choose from: management, development, quality assurance, or design. In my opinion, it’s worth focusing on engineering because the dynamic growth of technology contributes to the development of the professions of tomorrow.  

What are some exciting trends and developments in the field of engineering that could attract more women to the profession? 

From my perspective, Artificial Intelligence is becoming more and more popular and definitely will continue to grow. AI has a bright future and many companies invest in this area; but we cannot forget that this is only a computer system, so limiting trust is a must. Another area that in my opinion is worth investing time in is Big Data. Large volumes of data are collected from almost every website we visit and are used by organizations to gain insights and make data-driven decisions. Nowadays, data has huge power; if you know how to analyze it and draw the proper conclusions, then the world is your oyster.  

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