Learning a new skill can change human lives for the better. We are publishing inspirational stories of women who advanced the career ladder with the help of technology and mentorship. In this series of interviews, you will hear about CodeGirls and how it changed the perception of technology for so many women in Pakistan.
These interviews shed light on the day-to-day issues of a woman who wants to get her foot in the door and start her career in technology. The CodeGirls platform empowered these women and gave them bigger goals to bet on!
Today, we are featuring Maheen Aqeel. Read on to know more about her learning at CodeGirls as well as her professional experience.
Tell us a little about yourself, your background, your education, and your work.
I am a 29 years old mother of 2 beautiful energetic girls aged 4 years and 2 years, living with my supportive father in law and husband. I have a positive outlook about life and want to excel at a career that is aligned with my core values and without comprising the quality time I spend with my family.
I have done bachelor’s in commerce, have completed the 2nd phase of code girls boot camp successfully. I also have done many courses like video-audio editing, platform management, and the basics of graphic designing.
I am recently working as a virtual assistant and am also helping a non-profit organization on a gratis basis. It’s a joy to work as a Virtual Assistant as it has not only helped me to apply whatever I learned in Code Girls but also has inspired and helped me to grow as a person.
Who have been your strongest influences in life?
My strongest influence in my life has been my father Saleem Hamid and eldest sister Mehreen Nasser. They have unique ability to look at the positive side in any situations, give life the fullest and the best without thinking of the results and never to compromise their core values.
Professionally, I was greatly influenced by Rubica Raza (GB member of the finance committee in Ra’ana Liaquat Craft’smen Colony RLCC. RLCC is a Non-Profit Organization working for women and children), Mam Shamim and Mam Faiza Yousuf. They are highly scrupulous and know how to maintain the perfect work-life balance. As mentors they are personification of work ethics and managed to inspire us all to work diligently, professionally and to enjoy what we’re doing.
Why did you choose to learn to code?
I was introduced to this program by my father and initially joined because he insisted. However, within a week I started loving this course as I could see that this was the future and it was something I was good at and enjoyed doing.
What was your experience like with CodeGirlsKarachi?
CodeGirlsKarachi experience was amazing. Code Girls has opened doors of opportunity for me by giving me a chance for financial independence by something I enjoy doing and introduced me to a community of motivated and empowered women.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I am proud of the person I have become through the CodeGirls experience. I now have the confidence to do whatever I aim for.
What goals have you set yourself for the next 3 years?
In the next 3 years, I see myself exploring new levels of technology, clearing all my certifications, becoming one of the most sought after coders while simultaneously having a well-satisfied family life. I also plan to associate with Non-profit organizations so that I can give back to society, what I have learned.
What would you do differently if you had a chance?
I wouldn’t do anything differently as I am satisfied with the decisions I have taken, I own them and I am proud of them.
Did getting a job changed anything for you within and outside the family?
I used to believe that it wasn’t possible to have a career with flexible hours or work at home arrangements. It was always a challenging thought for me as I wanted to have a career without compromising my family life as I believed that in the formative years, children need their mother to evolve into confident adults. CodeGirls experience has changed my perception and now I feel confident anyone can have a rewarding career, even by working from home.
You can contact Maheen Aqeel using her email address below, and please do not hesitate in hiring her for your next project.