Julia Stevens (MIntLaw ‘06, BSc (Computer Sci) (Hons) ‘01)

21 April 2020

Julia is the Director of Administration for the Women's Alumni Network. 

For Julia, studying at ANU provided more than a degree. "While the course was great, I think part of the university experience is meeting people, learning to stand on your own two feet, being solely responsible for yourself and somehow getting through the content and exams". This experience equipped Julia to navigate a crucial career crossroads later on. 

Currently the General Manager of a publicly listed IT company, Julia made an important and risky decision early on in her career.  

"Three years out of uni, I jumped ship from a highly coveted big-four consulting role to a startup where I was the first (and only at the time) employee. Huge risk. That company has now grown and transformed into a publicly listed company that provides products and services to 215 hospitals and 42 different healthcare organisations globally. I joined as a consultant and am now a GM".

When reflecting on the crossroads of her career, Julia says, "Some friends considered it a mistake to leave a big-four consulting firm for a completely unknown entity. And to be fair, the odds were against us from the beginning. But being a key part of a very small team taught me to muck-in on everything, at every level, and to back myself as there wasn't anyone I could hide behind."

Julia also saw the importance of backing herself in the context of a male dominated industry. 

"As a female in IT, it is easy to look at the sea of men around you and wonder if you fit in, but I have learnt to back myself and that I am just as good as them. So I guess the in-equity in gender at uni prepared me for the reality of the real world."

Julia has seen huge changes in the IT landscape since studying computer science at ANU. "AI was a pretty abstract concept, but now we are actively thinking about ethical use of AI which is great. I also recall learning how to code in binary and now the tools on the market really do abstract a lot of that low-level work now. Back in my day, programming wasn't even offered as a course in school until you were in year 11 and 12, but now my daughter who is 9 can 'code' if she wants to".

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