Catherine de Chalain

Meet Davanti Consulting at the virtual 2020 CDES STEM Careers Expo!

Catherine de Chalain

  • Consultant - Davanti Consulting
  • Master of Information Technology

Did your career plans change as you studied?

Yes, very much so. I initially did a Bachelor of Arts and then worked in a completely different industry for several years. I returned to university in 2017 to change career paths and pursue my interest in IT, so going into it, I already knew just how much career plans can evolve as you learn more about the world and yourself. I went into my studies knowing I wanted a career in IT, but not clear on exactly what area or role I was most interested in. Because of this I tried to keep an open mind and take papers from a variety of subjects. I found that often the papers I enjoyed the most were not the ones I expected to, and this helped me to re-evaluate the direction I was heading in. Now that I’m working at Davanti, I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot of variety in my work, and this has helped me to further refine my career goals. I expect that my career plans will continue to evolve well into the future. While I’ve ended up a long way from where I thought I would at the start, I’ve found all of my seemingly-unrelated experience to be valuable to my current work, and I’m confident that the learning I’m doing now will continue to serve me well wherever my career takes me.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years’ time?

Given the rapidly evolving world of work that we find ourselves in, I’m cautious of being overly specific. I once heard a guest lecturer say that most of the people in the room would end up in jobs that don’t currently exist, which certainly makes it difficult to speculate! With that being said, I hope to have significantly deepened my knowledge and technical abilities. I would also like to take on more of a leadership role. I was very fortunate in that Davanti offered me a leadership opportunity early on in my career, and it was incredibly rewarding. It really challenged me and pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but the amount of growth and learning I experienced as a result was amazing. I love being able to support a team to do their best work and produce fantastic results for our clients. I hope the future holds more of these kinds of opportunities for me.

How valuable was your internship OR work experience for you as a student? How did this help you fine-tune where you wanted to head?

My internship experience was invaluable. Although I learned a lot at university, much of it specifically focused on practical vocational skills; some things you can only learn through experience. My internship experience at Davanti was fantastic because I got to work on a project from start to finish and was given a high level of responsibility and autonomy. This allowed me to gain a much deeper understanding of the entire software development lifecycle, as well as giving me the opportunity to try out a variety of roles over the course of the project. I also got to practice skills that are difficult to teach in an academic context, such as communicating with clients. Overall, although the experience was sometimes daunting, it challenged me to learn and grow a lot in a short space of time, and I was very grateful for the opportunity.