15 minutes with Mimi Osman – The First Lady of IT
Elit Rowland spends 15 minutes with 20-year old Mimi Osman, IT Assistant at JJ Food Service
A keen interest in computers has taken Mimi Osman from her telesales role at JJ’s Enfield branch to being the group’s first-ever female IT recruit – and she has no plans to slow down!
How long have you worked at JJ?
I first joined the business as a telesales agent where I stayed for a year before progressing to the IT helpdesk, where I’ve been for four months. I have qualifications in IT, but telesales was a great place to start because you get to know the business really well and the types of customers we need to deal with. It gave me a really good grounding.
Were you not tempted to go straight into IT?
This is my first job out of college so getting straight into IT would have been difficult – there is a lot to learn. It’s critical to understand how to speak to customers and going via telesales was a good route. I’m still studying in my own time so that I can keep building my knowledge to progress and to further my career.
Where did your love for technology come from?
When I was little I used to love playing with computers. As I got older, my family would always ask me to fix their mobiles and laptops when they had trouble. Not only did I enjoy it – I was actually really good at it! It made me realise that I’d love to do it as a full-time job.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
As you can imagine, IT can be quite technical so when you’re speaking to customers and colleagues, it can be difficult to simplify complex issues. Being able to explain things in a way that they can understand and relate to is key. I studied English language so I’m very confident in how I communicate. I also continuously listen to my colleagues and adapt the techniques that work for them into my own approach. So far it’s going very well!
Who is your role model in life?
My father – he studied medicine and technology and he helped me to pursue my interest in IT. He always encouraged me and spotted my interest in computers from a young age.
What does your typical day involve?
My typical day involves trouble-shooting for customers and staff – everything from helping drivers on the road with their mobile devices to staff in the office with their computers. We are the first line of support for any kind of technical problem.
What’s the best part of your job?
Working with my colleagues – they are fun and really helpful. I don’t ever feel like I cannot ask questions.
What’s it like being a woman in IT?
I believe equality is a big deal in any workplace. It takes a lot of effort and self-motivation to pursue a career that is traditionally dominated by men. That’s why it’s great to work with a company that rewards you on merit regardless of gender.
Five fast facts about Mimi
Best advice you’ve been given? Never give up on something that you enjoy doing.
What’s in your pockets? A mobile device, my phone and my blue tooth head set.
What’s your favourite place to eat? TGI’s – I love their desserts.
How would you spend a million pounds: I would travel the world.
What do you do outside of work? Swimming, tennis, salsa and yoga – I like to keep fit.