Kristee Devi Bhuruth is an IT Campus Customer Support Officer in IT Services. In her profile, Kristee tells us about working as a woman in IT, her strong female role models, and gives her advice to women thinking about a career in technology.
I joined Queen Mary in 2019 as a Service Desk Assistant for IT Services and I am now an IT Campus Support Officer which involves troubleshooting for staff and guests. I also support new starters, mixed-mode education, the Lapsafe project dealing with loan laptops for students, and other projects. Before I came to Queen Mary, I worked as an IT Applications and Systems Analyst for Nicholls and Clarkes after I completed my degree in Software Engineering at Brunel University.
I decided to pursue a career in IT because I was inspired by my mother. As a young adult, my mother was one of the first women in Mauritius, my native country, to learn how to use a computer. She brought home a computer and showed me how to make borders in Microsoft Word which started my fascination with computers. As I grew older, I became more interested in the working of machines, and at school I was really good at IT, teaching myself many things like coding – I even created a game application to help kids with maths and, for my dissertation at Brunel, I teamed up with my sister to write an app to help diabetics manage obesity.
As a woman, I don’t want to be dependent on anyone else - I want to be independent. I can work towards what I’d like to and encourage others to be joyful in being your own self as a woman. I have two strong women in my life who have inspired me – my mum who came from a village in Mauritius who has achieved so much, and my sister who was the first in my family to do a masters (which she completed at Queen Mary). If they can put their minds to it and achieve so much, then other women can too. I see other women working hard so there’s no excuse for me not to as well.
Wearing dresses isn’t going to stop me doing my job - I wear what is comfortable. Be confident to ask questions. Hardware and software are all connected and you can learn what you need. Women should do what they are passionate about – do what you love. Be so confident that you are proud of yourself.
I provide technical support for IT/AV equipment, telephony devices, software applications, networking and a number of other systems that support operations at Queen Mary. I contribute to the maintenance of IT equipment, such as doing regular firmware updates and testing, so that they are ready for staff and visitors to use. I set up working spaces for new staff and provide them with what they need to do their work. I also build, image and configure hardware devices for IT/AV services.
I’m currently based in Department W and Mile End assisting Queen Mary staff. Before that I worked as a Service Desk Officer which also meant working with students. I work with colleagues from all departments, probably more closely with ITS, Marketing, HR, JRMO, and Admissions. My immediate team are my managers, assistant directors, and directors.
The best thing about my job is that no two days are the same. There is always a different set of tasks to be done (while still being able to wear my fancy dresses!) and problems to troubleshoot. I gain a lot of knowledge from different people here at Queen Mary - it’s like a family - and networking with people increases my knowledge.
We know that there are not enough women in STEM when compared to men and this also is the case in the Queen Mary IT department. I truly hope that as a woman of minority ethnic origin working in IT I can inspire more women to join me in this career pathway. Strategy 2030 is all about diversity and inclusivity.
It has to be the top floors and roof top of Department W. The views are amazing.
Queen Mary is a community of staff and students from different cultures and backgrounds working together. I see it as a forward-thinking institution that is keen to pass on years of learning to future generations and encouraging those who came before to keep building it up. It’s definitely the place to be.
I would have liked to have been a cyber security officer. Security is fascinating and a field that not many women go for. I did a project at university about hacking firewalls.
Outside of work, my life pretty much revolves around my dog Murphy. He’s an American bulldog and I got him as a puppy during the pandemic. He very quickly became the light of our lives and I even have a picture of him on my desk at work.
Rachel Bence, Colin Bailey, Elon Musk, my managers Nadeem and Desmond, and either my sister or my dog (more likely my dog!) as they have all had some influence on my journey so far.