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Inga Bruce
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Executive Support Programme ManagerF5 Networks
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Trainee Patent Indexer, Derwent Information

As I had a degree in Chemistry, I felt that I ought to try out a career where I needed to use my degree. I was trained to be a "polymer patent indexer", which meant that I had to read a patent (a legal statement of "I thought of this first") related to the use of plastics and other chemical compounds and work out what was specifically unique, and then select the appropriate codes from our system to apply to the patent which would allow people to search for it in a very large computer system.

Office Manager, Audio Partnerships plc

I was responsible for all sorts of administrative things in the small office environment, and taught myself how to use a computer to improve processes within the small company.

Technical Support Analyst, Computacenter UK plc

"I provided telephone technical support to other people who worked in offices." Computacenter had agreed to help people at other companies with any problems they had using their computers at work. They would callup and ask for help on lots of different topics from problems printing, using an application or things not working as expected.

Project Co-Ordinator, Computacenter UK plc

In my role as Tech Support Analyst, I had to arrange small office moves, and from this, I progressed into complex office moves, and then into smaller projects for our customers.

Project Manager

I led projects for our customers to upgrade the desktop computers and email systems that they used in the offices. Some of these were very large & complicated and happened at the same time as the people moved to a different office building.

Programme Manager

Where there are several related projects which change different parts of how a company works together, this is called a programme. It's another layer of complexity.

Sales Operations Manager

When a company sells things, they usually have a set of IT systems, and processes for managing the sale from when they identify a potential customer all the way through to delivering the items bought. It's important for companies to know what sales might happen during the year, as this is the main income stream for a company.

Business Operations Manager
Executive Support Programme Manager
F5 Networks

I work with the Sales Leadership team for all of Europe, the Middle East & Africa. We are responsible for selling the F5 products and services to our customers across our part of the world.
I am responsible for ensuring that we are carrying out all the activities required to improving our ways of working, and how we engage with our customers to sell more to them.

I'm a natural organiser and like to make sure I've got everything planned, and have considered what could wrong!  These are great attributes for being a project or programme manager!

I've always been interested in technology and mathematics, and how things work.  My dad is a chartered electrical engineer, and my mum studied maths and statistics at University, so it wasn't really a surprise!

I think it's really important for girls to appreciate the depth & breadth of opportunities that lie ahead of them, and that doors will continue to open, no matter what happens at school!

I live in London, with my partner Barry, and our gorgeous mini-me Astrid.  

English, German, French
Information technology IT / ICT

Always Be Learning! School and University are really like a gym for your brain - to help you identify and build up the mental muscles, but you need to keep exercising, stretching and testing those muscles throughout your life. You're never too old to learn something new.

My Education
Chemistry with a European Language BSc Hons
Heriot-Watt University
Biology, Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, French, German, Mathematics, Physics
Aberdeen Grammar School

I really enjoyed languages and science, which are an odd mix, and I was really lucky I could also carry on studying Chemistry IN Germany IN German!

More about me

I have to be able to communicate with people at all levels of the company, and be able to build rapport quickly with them so that we can work well together. It's important to me that I can convey my requirements to people concisely whether in writing or in person. I also need to be able to convince people to do something they may not be keen to do, and also be able to tell people when I am not going to do something too!

I had a great mentor at Computacenter when I was a project co-ordinator. He took the time to explain clearly what he needed me to do, and even left me in charge of the project when he went on holiday! This early increased responsibility gave me great confidence that I could do my job!

I wanted to be a Vet or a Forensic Scientist, my job probably didn't exist when I was at school.

I went to University straight from 5th Year (you can do that in Scotland!). I think I should have stayed for 6th Year, and studied more languages or something completely different.

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