Meet the member – Rebecca Doran – Cantarus

Written by: Leanne on January 29, 2020

The award-winning full-service digital agency Cantarus, are based in Manchester City centre just by Picadilly Gardens. It’s a great, bright office space with a buzzing environment. Cantarus actively want to recruit a diverse workforce. After visiting the office back in September and hearing about their internal training and progression programme we couldn’t wait to hear more about what it’s like to work there.

Rebecca Head Shot

Rebecca has been interested in Computer Science from a young age. Rebecca has ignored the stereotypical norms placed on her when picking her degree and she now has a job that balances tech with people, starting out as a Programmer, Rebecca believes in being proactive and working hard…

Can you tell us a bit about the work that your organisation does?

Cantarus is an award-winning full-service digital agency based in Manchester. We basically do everything digital – building websites and apps, design, marketing and hosting!

Were you interested in or exposed to technology at school?

I was, I studied ICT for both GCSE and A-Level. But I was actually told by my teacher not to do computer science as it was ‘for boys’ and I wouldn’t enjoy it… so I did it as part of my degree.

When did your journey start? and has your career path changed over time?

I’d say my journey properly started during my first year at uni; I loved computer science and I even considered dropping maths (the other half of my degree) completely. I actually really wanted to be a teacher when I graduated rather than going into tech though.

My course mates persuaded me to do a year in industry as it would be a good experience, and that’s how I ended up at Cantarus. Turns out I really liked the environment. So, in my final year I decided I’d go into IT rather than teaching, and the rest is history!

I started off my career as a developer which I loved, but I also found that I really enjoyed working with clients, so I’ve gone further down the project management route and am now Technical Delivery Manager at Cantarus.

What led you to work for the organisation you are currently working for?

All of my housemates were graduating, and I knew that I wanted to stay local. I found Cantarus on the uni careers page and they stood out to me because they were quite a small, friendly company based in the centre of Manchester.

I really enjoyed my time here during my placement year – the culture and atmosphere was lovely and welcoming, so when they offered me the job permanently, I accepted straight away without a second thought.

Rebecca quote

What are the core values behind the organisation you are working for?

In my opinion, I’d say culturally there’s a really strong, social community within the company. There’s also plenty of internal opportunities, we tend to push people into further roles rather than hiring from outside. We’re basically a people organisation – we put employees first whenever we can!

Are there any tips you would like to share with our community on getting into the industry or your job role specifically?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something! Also, don’t be put off by uni or jobs and how little you might know. Going into my degree I had basically zero knowledge of computer science, but you can do it, even if it seems overwhelming. There are loads of free resources online to use too – it’s pretty easy to get into if you put your mind to it.

How do you keep yourself fresh in your role or build on your experience?

Things like attending conferences and events to stay up-to-date, regular internal strategy meetings where we talk about best practice in the role, looking at what we can do to improve as a team etc. I’m also pretty open to people’s opinions and constructive criticism which I think helps!

Who inspires you? and would you like to share anything you’ve learnt that could inspire our community?

Career wise, my mother. She handled a lot on her own when I was growing up and I find her really inspiring in so many ways. Whenever I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, I think of what she’s achieved and it pushes me to just do it.

Cantarus are currently looking for a Senior Developer, you can read more about this opportunity here!
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