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  • Writer's pictureThiago Assuncao de Faria

Azeta Sonia: Charting a Unique Path in Tech from Philosophy to Business Development

Sonia Azeta's story is a testament to the transformative power of opportunity and the pivotal role of a supportive network. Growing up in a home where technology was embraced as a tool for advancement, Azeta was introduced to the digital world early on. Her mother's foresight in providing a home computer and ensuring education in computer skills laid the groundwork for Azeta's tech journey. However, it wasn't until her university years, with a degree in Philosophy in hand, that Azeta truly considered a tech career. Her entry into this dynamic field began with a leap of faith into a Women-in-Tech internship, marking the start of an inspiring journey from graphic design to her current role as a Business Development Manager and Customer Support Specialist.


Sonia Azeta smiling
Sonia Azeta

Sonia's career is a mosaic of diverse experiences, from content creation to marketing and community management. Her path reflects a relentless pursuit of growth and a knack for adapting her skills to meet the evolving demands of the tech industry. Her story is not just about personal achievement; it's about the power of community and the importance of having champions like her sister, Josephine, who have been instrumental in guiding her through the tech landscape.


Her narrative also reflects the changing face of the tech industry, particularly for women. Her observations on women's increasing presence and impact in tech, especially in non-traditional roles, highlight a positive shift towards diversity and inclusion. Yet, her candid admission of struggling with work-life balance is a reminder of the challenges that still persist in the tech world.

 

Q1) Can you share a bit about your background and your current role?


I grew up in a home that always provided whatever I needed to improve and gave me that extra edge as long as I showed dedication toward improvement. So when exposing your kids to technology was the best thing, my mum got a home computer.

When that was not enough, she made sure my siblings and I attended schools that gave computer lessons. And by the time I was in secondary school, I had already gotten my own laptop.

Everything my mum did gave me the basic foot-in-the-door privilege. However, I did not think of the possibility of exploring a career in the tech space until I was almost out of uni. And the background story of my current tech role started with volunteering.


Q2) How did you first become interested in technology, and what led you to your current role?


With just one year left in Uni, I realized that nothing was looking up for me when I finished, at least not with a degree in Philosophy in Nigeria, except in academia which I was not particularly excited about.


Then one day, a contact that I had volunteered with put up an opportunity on her WhatsApp status for a Women-in-Tech internship. The internship aimed to equip young women with skills like Graphics Design and Digital Marketing.

I took advantage of the opportunity and signed up for the graphics design program. This singular act gave me a headstart into a career right after uni.

I delved into the tech space, equipped with my graphic design skills. Since then, my career growth has progressed from design to social media marketing and now, managing partnerships and collaborations with brands and businesses, which is a fragment of what I currently do as a Business Development Manager and Customer Support Specialist.



Q3) What main challenges have you faced in your career, and how have you overcome them?


Starting pretty young in the vast tech space and armed with a keen interest in picking up on everything, I have seen myself dabble in content creation, marketing, community management, and even video editing.

I've been overwhelmed, and self-doubt even crept in at some point. It’s easier for me now as I found an umbrella covering it all: Business Development.

I know now that I want to help businesses navigate the tech and social media spaces using all the skills I have acquired throughout my career. I think it just got easier for me when I found the proper term encompassing all my interests and capabilities.


Q4) Who or what has been the most significant influence or support in your tech journey?


The people I surround myself with are the biggest influence in my journey so far. I’m very thankful for the people I have around me.

My network was the only reason I knew about the volunteering opportunity that paved my way into tech in the first place. I think it's rather crucial for people to associate themselves with people with the same drive.

Also, it's almost impossible to talk about support without talking about my sister, Josephine. She has always taken it upon herself to ensure I’m in the right places, in front of the right people and opportunities. She has and is still giving me all the support I need. She is just the best.


Q5) How have you seen diversity and inclusion evolve in the tech industry throughout your career?


Things are gradually looking up for women in the tech space. With the rise of non-tech roles in tech, women are taking up space and making moves in the tech industry.

And it’s amazing to see that now, I can conveniently scroll through my phone and know women who are present and groundbreaking in the tech space. Three years ago, this was not the case.

Q6) How do you manage the work-life balance in the tech industry?


As much as I’d like to wish and dream that I have a life outside of work, I don't. I don’t have a work-life balance. I get so deep in tasks, timelines, and deliverables that I forget to take a breather.

Recently I have been taking time management seriously. I now deliberately take time to read a book page or try my hands at crafts.

However, I still have to make a conscious effort. So until it happens naturally, I don't have a work-life balance yet.

Sonia Azeta smiling on the entrance of a concert.
Sonia Azeta, in one of her conscious attempts at trying to have a work-life balance, goes out to a concert!

Q7) What skills are most important in today's tech world?


Technology has made the world a global village. But even in that village, you need to be able to interact with people regardless of where you are in the world. Fetching from that, I will say communication is one of the most essential skills in today’s tech world. Communication is vital to working with people and for personal growth.

Adaptability, for me, is also an important skill. The capacity to modify your responses and outputs to fit new conditions, apply yourself, and put out your best shows that you can always thrive regardless of whatever life throws at you.

Q8) Can you share a project or accomplishment you consider the most significant in your career?


Although I am bound by contract not to talk about the project in detail, I’d say one of the most significant accomplishments in my career as a Business Development Associate was successfully running a partnership campaign, from ideation and implementation to monitoring and evaluation, for 12 months between two organizations.

The result of this partnership for one of the organizations was an increase in awareness and reach to over 57,000 new people.

And for the other organization, it was an increase in sales and revenue by over 150% quarterly. If you asked me, I’d say that’s pretty impressive.


Q9) What are your future goals, and where do you see the tech industry heading in the next few years?


I know that I’m starting 2024 by trying to pull off a local LinkedIn event with a team of talented people.

Next year, I will also focus on growing SoAzeta, my digital and social media agency, targeted at helping brands and small businesses leverage the digital space for growth.

Q10) What advice would you give other women considering a tech career?


There’s still room for you in the tech space. Research, find the niche that you find exciting enough to give it your all, grab your chair, and get to it.


If you feel like you’ve hit a roadblock, know that there are women out there who have gone through what you’re going through right now, and they found a way.

Know that we are all rooting for you.

Q11) Let's continue the flow... who would you like to read on the Lovelace Series?



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