- Role Model -
Name: Lesley Chard
Occupation: App Designer & Developer
Employer: Clockwork Fox Studios
Education: B.Sc. Computer Science & Geography (Joint Major), Memorial University
Hometown: Harbour Grace, NL
Current community of residency: St. John's, NL
What does your typical work day involve?
On a normal day I will arrive at the office between 9-10am. I will work independently and collaborate with my coworkers when needed, take a lunch break at home with my puppy, and back to the office for the afternoon. Our office also allows us to work remotely whenever we need some solitary time, so I will often stay and work from my home office. We also have a very social working environment so my day is filled up with lots of chats, jokes, tea and snacks.
What do you love most about your profession? Why did you choose this career?
I love being creative! Every day I get to be artistic and get to sharpen my problem solving skills. I chose this career because it gives me the perfect balance of both of these things, while also maintaining a great work-life balance.
When did you realize you wanted to work in STEM?
It was always what I wanted to do, even as a little girl. My older siblings were getting their science degrees and I wanted to be like them some day. It wasn't until I was out of high school that I realized I wanted to take my hobby of web design to the next level and learn programming. After the first course I was hooked and declared my major.
What were your favorite subjects in school?
In high school my favorite subject was english. It was the only subject where I was able to be creative with my projects, and I actually designed many websites as assignments. I also really enjoyed geography and learning about different landscapes and cultures, which was a huge reason I majored in Geography as well.
What advice would you give girls, who are still in school, who might be considering a career like yours?
Give it a chance, even if it seems difficult at first. No one is a "natural" programmer, the key is practice. A little bit of stubbornness will go a long way in this career.
Why do we need more women in skilled trades and STEM?
Our perspectives are valid and important. Women are being left behind in the technology sector, and with that technology isn't being developed with women in mind. We deserve an equal voice in the future of this important industry, and through technology we can facilitate amazing social change.
Who was your role model? What about this person inspires you?
My older sister. Her dream since kindergarten was to become a doctor, and she never gave up. Nothing was handed to her and she often had to work twice as hard as her peers to achieve her goals. Now she is a highly specialized doctor, saving lives and living her dream.
What do you do for fun? What are some of your hobbies/activities?
When you work on a computer all day, it's great to be active in your free time to keep your body and mind healthy. I love to run and do yoga to stay healthy. I also try to create art whenever I can, and simply relax and enjoy life with friends and family.
What superhero do you relate to most? Why?
The Hulk has always resonated with me. He is constantly trying to have more control over his emotions and channel his temper into doing good instead of harm. I think this skill set is really important even for us normal folk!
Anything else you wish to share?
Get out there and try new things! Make a website. Try photo editing. Try graphic design. Write a python script. Build a robot. You never know what you're going to fall in love with. These skills will help you in any career - and they can be super enjoyable and rewarding!
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