Meet the Academy Student: Kally Chung

From teacher, to hairdresser, to data engineer… The story of Academy student Kally Chung

When looking for her, you will probably find Academy student Kally somewhere in the classroom helping another student. She is the perfect example of a hard worker. Not only for herself, but also for her classmates, who she now proudly calls her new friends. Even though she’s always dreamt of a career in tech, this is not Kally’s first career path. Before she started the Data Engineer program at Equals Academy, Kally was a teacher for four years and owned two businesses. She is living proof that your first job does not need to be forever, and that it’s never too late to switch careers.

I felt welcome in this organization, and I felt embraced because I could share my life experience and my emotions through everything that I was facing at that time.

Hi Kally! Could you tell us a little bit about what your life was like before Equals Academy?

I’m Kally, I’m Brazilian, and I’ve been in the Netherlands for a bit over a year, so everything is kind of new for me. I’ve been doing things including this program, for the first time again. That’s very exciting for me. A little bit about my life. I earned my degree in Applying Computational Mathematics. After my graduation I did so many things: I’ve tried masters and I also owned two businesses, one of which was a hairdressing salon. I also got into teaching and did that for at least four years. Lastly, I’ve gone into the data field.

So, what made you decide to do a career switch to tech?

What caught my eye in the IT field and motivated me to switch careers was the environment. The IT field is a challenging and innovative environment. There is always something new that comes up, so you must always study, be up to date with new tools, new coding language, etcetera. This type of environment really makes me feel alive and motivates me.

Amongst all the different ways through which you can switch careers to tech, what made you choose Equals Academy?

I learned about Equals Academy through an ad about the Data Engineering program. This immediately caught my eye for three reasons: it is the program that I want, it is for women, and it is free. So, it is the perfect combination. I joined the Q&A and thought it was very special because I learned a lot about Equals Academy’s mission and values, but also because I felt welcome in this organization, and I felt embraced because I could share my life experience and my emotions through everything that I was facing at that time. That’s why I love Equals, and especially Equals Academy.

How far along are you in the program and what has your experience been like doing this program?

Right now, I’m in week 6, halfway through the program. I’m really enjoying this experience because I’m making new friends, switching careers, coming back to school, it has been very amazing for me. I’m really enjoying this experience, also because the coaches that we have are very thoughtful with our learning process.

What’s will your job and your life be like after the Academy?

I’m trying not to be emotional right now, but I am happy to say that after the program I’m going to work at Adyen. This is special for me because Adyen is a company that I have been pursuing since 2020. Equals gave me this special chance and I took it. I am super excited to start my job and to start this new cycle in my life.

So, after the Academy, you will start working at Adyen. What is the end goal that you have in mind?

My professional goal in life is to become a data architect. For me, doing the Data Engineering program at Equals Academy is one step closer to that goal. Doing this for a company that I admire is overwhelming.

Why do we need more women in tech?

Firstly, we need more women in tech because there is space for everyone, and on top of that we are as capable as men, right? Also, I think our previous life experience will help us to be a better developer, because we have another point of view to solve a problem. If we have a diverse team, and combine our approaches to solve a problem, I’m sure that we will get to a better solution and a better product for everyone, and not just for a specific group.

What’s your advice to women who are thinking about switching to tech and are still insecure about it?

Yes, it is challenging: you are getting out of your comfort zone, studying something new. Embrace it, be proud of making this decision, be bold and go for it. Now is the time. We have a huge, very strong worldwide women community, supporting us to make this decision. Equals is here. If you need more technical skills, you have a lot of women out there willing to help you. I think that now is the time for that.

Do you also want to get into the tech industry? Click here to find out more about our Equals Academy!