AiAllies – Pamela Krzypkowska, Microsoft

Pamela Krzypkowska

Pamela Krzypkowska, an AI Cloud Solution Architect for Microsoft, wasn’t exactly sure of what she wanted to do when studying computer science at university or while working on her philosophy degree, but a future in the STEM field was always something that felt right she highlights in her first interview as a member of the #AiAllies initiative. 

“I thought that I wanted to be a scientist and work in physics when I was growing up and even though I found out that it wasn’t for me, I knew that the STEM sectors represented the right path.” She said. 

“Everybody knows that you don’t get a taste of what professional life is really like at university, so even though I learned a lot of skills I didn’t know the exact role that I wanted when studying.” 

Therefore, like any enterprising student finding their feet, Pamela secured internships between semesters working for Samsung and Goldman Sachs as a software developer that involved natural language processing and artificial intelligence. 

“Getting involved in any kind of professional project that includes doing something you like, even semi-professionally, is really important because it will provide you with an idea of what working in that industry will be like. The earlier you get out there and explore options, the sooner you are likely to find something you love doing. An internship or program doesn’t have to be exactly what you are looking for, but at least you’ll learn about professional life, meet some interesting people and get some free pizza!”  

Following the completion of her first degree, Pamela began taking on freelance projects and started work on a second degree in philosophy while also beginning her career at Microsoft. 

“I joined the Microsoft Aspire program which had a flexible working schedule that enabled me to finish my second degree in parallel. So far, I have worked in three different roles with Microsoft, firstly with partner strategy, then with customer strategy and now on cloud architecture.” 

Though her academic achievements played a significant role in her rise in the tech sector, Pamela equally highlights the importance of taking on extracurricular projects and being willing to offer a helping hand whenever possible.  

“You need to talk to people and the best way to make connections is by offering to help them with tasks. No matter what role somebody is in, they could always use help and I tried to offer that to professors, colleagues and people I wanted to follow in the footsteps of. That’s how I really learned how the professional world worked and how I learned important skills.” 

Supporting Women in the World of Tech 

Having enjoyed a metronomic rise through the ranks of Microsoft, Pamela now works with enterprise-level businesses and public sector organizations to support their growth. 

So, how can aspiring women achieve similar levels of success and get their careers off to such a strong start? 

Pamela highlights that taking a proactive approach while at university had a significant impact on her career success, and makes several recommendations for those still working in education.  

“Joining a student organization can help you learn about organization and working as part of a group and this could lead to a lot of opportunities from a networking perspective. You should also try to involve yourself in organizing conferences, which can help you develop a lot of key skills.” 

Extracurricular activities and taking on additional work is vital for ensuring a successful transition into professional life, she continued. 

“Talk to your professors about grant projects and offer to support them if they have any practical tasks that they may need support with. Students may not realize, but professors are professionals as well and often have personal projects that they could use help with.” 

“Keep networking, get connected and make use of all of the free resources and training courses that are available online. There has never been so much support for people who want to train themselves and improve their skills, so take advantage. Virtual training days are a great example where you can learn for an Azure Fundamentals Certification and get a free exam voucher.” 

“I would also say that cybersecurity is a huge topic and if you can fuse that with data science, you will be in high demand as a professional.” 

Importantly, Pamela highlights Doing Data Science as a key read for those wanting to learn about the field, while Towards Data Science offers regular information and analysis from industry experts of the subject. 

“If you really want to learn about data science and become a professional in the industry, I think you should also find somebody who works in the sector and ask for a mentorship.” 

Pamela also highlights the importance of mental health and recognizing limitations as a junior coming into the technology sector. 

“It’s really easy to get sucked into endless work and striving for progress, but nothing is worth sacrificing your mental wellness for. It’s very important to remember that you can’t know everything right away and that asking for information is a good thing. Right now, every job is a lifelong learning journey.” 

“Remember that even the most experienced people simply make the best educated guess they can when solving a problem. Every project is different, and you shouldn’t feel nervous about putting your thoughts forward or asking people for help.” 

“Finding out what you want to do is a complicated task. Be kind to yourself and if there is anything you think I could help you with – Hit me up!”  

Finally, when assessing the current state of the technology sector and how improvements can be made for women and minorities. 

“I think that all minorities should do everything they can to support other minorities (women included) in the technology industry. We need more diversity in leadership positions because every minority offers a different leadership style and this has an enormous positive impact on a business and its employees. 

To learn more from Pamela, you can connect with her directly here. 

Access a wide range of accredited online training courses for free from Microsoft, here. 

Browse the current internship programs and junior openings, here.