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Jenny Whitaker

from Admin Assistant to Project Manager
I manage software development projects, from concept to going live.
Industry
Technology and Digital
Company
Queensland Government Customer and Digital Group
Job Level
Mid
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Ask me about

  • The varied roles that make up a project team
  • If you need to like coding to work in IT
  • If you need to have done IT at school to work/study IT

About me

  • Regional Background

I had no clue what I wanted to do when I finished school.  I dropped out of my first degree (business) after 1 semester and started full time work as an admin assistant while I figured out what I wanted to do.  The State Government Computing Centre (now CITEC) was recruiting for computer operators and it paid $50/week more, so I applied and found my home. There is always something new to learn in IT, and room for growth at CITEC.  I moved from computer operations (operating mainframe computers) to Network Control (checking things were plugged in and turned things off and on a lot), to Operations Support for Confirm, where my manager gave me the push I needed to enrol in the Bachelor of IT.  I then moved into business analysis and project management before I graduated.  Working in the field I was studying was a great motivator.

About my role

  • Analytical
  • Optimistic
  • Personable
  • Practical
  • Reliable

The Project Managers brief is to deliver the new thing being built, whether it's a bridge or a website, on time, on budget and to the specifications agreed.

An IT Project Manager may be responsible for delivering a new app, online shopping website, or installation/deinstallation of IT Hardware.  The role is essentially ensuring project team members (software architects, engineers, developers, business analysts, testers) know what they need to be doing each day, and helping solve any issues or 'blockers' preventing the project team from progressing their individual tasks.

At the same time, the Project Manager ensures everybody involved (project team) or interested (project stakeholders) is informed along the way regarding any issues, how progress is tracking against the schedule, any required changes to the scope of work or the budget.  Ideally, they can celebrate a win with the team on successful completion/delivery.

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Education

  • Bachelor of Information Technology
  • Certificate in Project Management

Subjects

  • Biology
  • Drama
  • English
  • Languages
  • Mathematical Methods (Maths B)
  • Music
  • Performing Arts

Awards

  • CITEC Award for Excellence

Hobbies

  • Bike riding
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Reading
  • Yoga

15 year old me!!

“Don't sweat the big life decisions - different pathways open up opportunities you may not have thought of. Try everything on for size - 45+ years of working life means a lot of time to try different careers.”

My career journey

Curious to know how I got here? Here’s a snapshot of my career pathway.
  1. Landed entry-level job at CITEC
  2. Promoted to on-call Support tech
  3. Commenced Bachelor IT at QUT
  4. Completed Post-grad Project Management
  5. Accepted to AIPM as 'Project Management Professional'

My employer

The Queensland Government Customer and Digital Group (QGCDG) leads and drives​​ a more digitally enabled and responsive government, while facilitating simple and effective access to services for all Queenslanders. We provide digital, strategic and service delivery leadership and capability to enable more responsive services across the Queensland Government.​