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Meet Napiya Nubuya of The Next IT Girl in Metro Atlanta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Napiya Nubuya.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My love for technology goes back to my childhood, choosing video game consoles over toys. I decided to pursue it as a career in 2007 while attending a career school for a Computer Video and Graphics certification. Being exposed to graphic design, production and code grew my love for the creativity that comes from technology. Upon graduation, I obtained the certification and new I wanted to study more about technology in college. My first year in college I declared my major as Computer Science. Over the course of those five years, I doubted my potential that this major was for me. I was faced with many obstacles; taking a semester off, lack of representation, nonsupportive professors, repeating classes, you name it. After graduation, it took me a year to find a job in the technology. Countless job interviews all across the country for big name companies but one common factor on why I didn’t get the job, lack of experience. In 2015, I was offered a great opportunity to get my foot in the tech industry in Indianapolis, IN, I took the job and there is where I would find my purpose.

The Next IT Girl was initially brainstormed as a blog that’s purpose was to highlight fashion trends and style advice. I have always been a big fashion enthusiast and would hear the saying “the next it girl” used often in the fashion industry to describe the next great woman coming into the fashion industry who would stand out more than anyone else around her. So “The Next IT Girl” was the name I decided on because of its use in the fashion industry and me pursuing a career in IT. At that time there wasn’t any intention of it being tech related at all it was just going to be a lifestyle blog about my life experiences and fashion. It was during that time that I thought that this was my passion to start a blog. But a simple conversation at lunch one day would change my entire view on what I thought I was passionate about and would lead me to my real passion. An intern who heard that I held a degree in Computer Science and I just moved to Indianapolis to pursue my career wanted to know more about majoring in Computer Science as she was expressing her interest once she went to college. Within those few moments of sharing my experience over the past five years, is when I realized this is what I am passionate about, helping to encourage other young women to pursue a career in the Tech industry.

After doing countless hours of research, I came to the conclusion that the next it girl’s focus would be toward African American/ black young women. That decision was made based off of two things; personal experience and underrepresentation. I wanted to tell my story of the many obstacles I’ve faced to get where I am and the countless times I’ve wanted to give up. Myself being an African American to be a mentor to other African American/ black women that we do exist in this industry. Secondly, after reading a lot of statistics about women in tech, the lack of women in the tech industry didn’t stand out as much as the lack of race did. There is a significantly low number of African American/ black women in this field versus any other race and I didn’t feel that I would be doing my job if I didn’t push for an increase and reach out to other women by me being in this industry.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not. Over the course of being in college, I doubted my potential that technology was for me. I was faced with many obstacles; taking a semester off, lack of representation, nonsupportive professors, repeating classes, you name it. After graduation, it took me a year to find a job in the technology. Countless job interviews all across the country for big name companies but not having enough experience.

As an IT Professional I’ve struggled with being a woman of color in a male-dominated industry. Speaking up more without being labeled harsh or hard to work with.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Next IT Girl – what should we know?
The Next IT Girl helps close the gender and racial gap by providing technical programs and resources for young women of color ages 8-22 who are interested in pursuing technical careers…

Committed to educate, mentor, and attract minority young women to pursue a career in the Technology Industry. We strive to bridge the gap of gender and race by partnering aspiring, current, and experienced IT professionals who are a reflection of each young woman to inspire to a technology career.

By supporting broader career options, encouraging all technical interests, and bringing together like-minded minority women, we provide the support network they need to pursue and successfully excel in the tech industry.

One of the most exciting things about the technology field is how many different careers you can explore. From programming to networking, database management to web development, mobile app design to software development, cloud computing to cyber-security, the only limit is your imagination. That’s why The Next IT Girl teaches young women about all aspects of computer science and information technology—not solely coding.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Credit goes to so many people who supported my journey, too many to name but what I think was most pivotal in not giving up was my college professor that told me my senior year in college that I should change my major and not pursue technology. 🙂

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