When Sofia Paul graduated from her hometown university in Chandigarh, India, it seemed likely she would follow most to what is considered to be India's IT capital, Bengaluru. But, Sofia had other ideas.

“I wanted to explore what was out there and experience a different lifestyle and culture," says Sofia, who rejoined Datacom in September as a technical consultant in the intelligent workspace team.

As a young electronics and communications engineering graduate and after two years of experience working in Chandigarh under her belt — first, as a data miner, then as a leader of a team of eight — Sofia's desire to explore a career overseas brought her to New Zealand.

“As a single child, it was a difficult decision to leave my mother alone. I probably wouldn’t do it today. But, it was something that I needed to do.”

While there was a culture shock, there were also significant benefits.

A diverse place to live and work

Upon arriving in New Zealand, Sofia found the laid-back attitude and friendliness a breath of fresh air. She joined Datacom and went from­ technical support to service delivery roles over two years.

“I found it much easier to approach people and have an opinion. I love the diversity here, not just in the work, but in the backgrounds of the people who work here."

Craving a more technical role and a change of scene, Sofia left Datacom to join New Zealand's Exchange (NZX), where she provided IT infrastructure support to the stock exchange’s employees in Wellington and Auckland.

Five years later, she was ready to switch jobs again — but also to try a new country.

It took Sofia nearly four months to land a permanent job in Canada, but, when she did, it was with an organisation pursuing a worthy cause — the Salvation Army. She gained expertise in Microsoft 365 and enjoyed supporting the work of a large not for profit.

“It was a satisfying job because I knew that my work was contributing to the bigger picture."

Following her time in Canada, Sofia moved back to Auckland just as it was plunged into its second COVID-19 lockdown. Eager to try a new city, an offer arrived for a role in Wellington working for Datacom.

Projects with purpose

Today, Sofia helps a wide range of government departments and agencies make the most of platforms like Microsoft 365 and the Azure Cloud to support the new hybrid working arrangements that have resulted from the pandemic.

“The whole work dynamic has shifted. There is more need to have these collaborative tools and to have flexible working arrangements while making sure security isn’t compromised.”

Being back in New Zealand and at Datacom has helped to give Sofia new opportunities, while supporting public sector organisations involved in the pandemic recovery efforts has also satisfied her need to work on projects with real purpose.

"New Zealand, truly, is a home away from home.

"At Datacom, I enjoy the unique environment. It provides me with opportunities to grow as I can explore different domains and a range of technologies.

“I need to know I'm making a difference. By helping our clients, we are enabling them to do good for the country. That’s what makes it all worthwhile."

Datacom is hiring for a range of roles. To find out how you can make the most of a career in technology with Datacom, see our latest roles.

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