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Spotlight on an engineer: Jessica McKellar

There’s nothing more inspiring than reading about the journey of a role model who’s gone from where you are now to where you want to be. Jessica McKellar is a great example of an enterprising young woman who combined her passion for science and technology with dedication and hard work and is now one of the most respected female engineers in the world; she was listed number four on Business Insider’s list of the 26 most powerful women engineers in the world in 2016.

A tech giant

Jessica McKellar’s top credentials include the title of director of Engineering at Dropbox, as well as being a world-recognised talent in the computer programming language, Python. She’s contributed to the kernel of Linux, an open-source operating system popular in tech spheres, and she also makes contributions to the field of engineering by speaking at conferences and outreach efforts, including GNOME Outreach for Women.

A young entrepreneur

McKellar wasn’t handed her position on a plate, though; she spent years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying computer science and chemistry, before graduating to become an engineering manager at a start-up business called Ksplice. What really set her on a trajectory for success was co-founding her own chat software company, Zulip. This did well enough to catch the attention of the top engineers at Dropbox, who acquired both the company and McKellar, too.

Learn from the best

If there’s one thing that can be taken away from young and successful female engineers like Jessica McKellar, it’s to aim high. McKellar took risks: she studied hard, set up her own business, and it paid off. Today, some of the world’s greatest and most successful engineers are women, so don’t let outdated preconceptions about the field hold you back.

To get started on your journey to becoming the next Jessica McKellar, get in touch with us about engineer training. Engineering apprenticeships are available in all kinds of specialisms, from electrical to mechanical and chemical engineering; choose one that inspires you.

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