Data Girl of the Month: Maija Happonen

Nominated by Rebecca Finne, with the motivation:
“In the autumn of 2019 and spring 2020, Maija worked hard on events in Gothenburg and the Data Girl gal, which was to be at the Universeum on March 28. She has put a lot of effort and well into making good and rewarding events. Really inspiring! ”

Name: Maija Happonen
Age: 24 years
Training: Soon completed an MSc in IT with a Master in Industrial Ecology, Chalmers University of Technology

How did you get in touch with Data Girl?
Via Facebook and acquaintances at Chalmers. Started attending events during my second year at Chalmers.

What was your role in Data Girl, and when were you active?
I was a local business manager in Gothenburg 19/20 and project manager for Data Girl Galan 2020, which was unfortunately canceled due to the Corona pandemic.

Why do you think you should get involved in Data Girl?
You should get involved in Data Girl for developing as a person, you immediately gain practical skills that are important to have in all contexts. Engaging voluntarily is rewarding and educational. If you want to support women / non-binary in tech then DataTjej is a great opportunity, while building contacts with business and industry. It will take time, but it's worth it. You give your time and create events, and you get back joy from DataTjej's members. It also contributes to strengthening the important networks between women / non-binary, and supports an important purpose. Finally, you also grow as a person.

Tips for girls who want to plug in IT and technology related topics?
Dare to do it, you need to! It's fun, and incredibly important for the future. We need girls at the forefront of development, in order for the technology of the future to be inclusive for everyone. With technical understanding you can make a difference and create new, innovative solutions, and gain a different understanding of the world. You also do not have to work as a programmer when you are done, it is an incredibly wide industry with an infinite number of positions and opportunities. An IT or technical background is good, and you can adapt it to your interests.

Can you tell us how you ended up in your education and what you could work on after graduation?
I plugged in technology in high school, and found programming, computers and data interesting. Wanted to find a college education with both practical and theoretical elements, with good prospects. So I jumped on the IT training at Chalmers. I enjoyed working at Chalmers and IT, and directed my mastery towards sustainability and management to gain a broader competence along my interests. With an IT background you can work with everything between heaven and earth. It is no longer an industry, it is everywhere in every sector.

What do you hope to get done when you finish your master's?
I hope I get to work on making the world a better place for both people and nature. I want to do this in a place where I feel comfortable and constantly challenged, and learn new things continuously.

What is your biggest career dream?
My biggest career dream is to end up in a place where I can make a direct difference and help make the earth a better place. Where new innovative solutions transform society into a sustainable future. That is my vision, exactly where this is I do not know, but I will fight hard to get there.

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