My Journey from Office Coordinator to Associate Engineer 

lżbieta Drygała, Associate Engineer
March 5, 2024 Xperi

By Elżbieta Drygała, Associate Engineer 

I’ve always been intrigued by the world of IT, but my career initially took a different path. After studying hotel management in college, I eventually found myself as an office coordinator at Xperi’s office in Warsaw, Poland. Despite enjoying my work, I felt a pull towards something different — something more aligned with my passion for technology. 

Deciding to take the leap 

Thankfully, the company culture and the support of my colleagues encouraged me to explore this desire for change within the organization. I began by researching possibilities within the company, seeking advice and gathering information on the steps I needed to take to transition into a new role. 

Embracing the challenge 

Transitioning from an administrative role to an associate engineer wasn’t an overnight process. It involved months of preparation, including learning about certification processes, developing my technical skills and familiarizing myself with industry terminology. The journey from decision-making to settling into my new role on the certification team took about a year, encompassing interviews, training and the eventual transition itself. 

I was fortunate to have the support of my colleagues throughout this progression. Entering a new field meant embracing a mindset of continuous learning. From understanding the intricacies of the TiVo operating system to delving into the world of certification testing, each day presented new challenges and opportunities for growth. Engaging in ISTQB training and staying updated with industry news became essential parts of my professional development. 

Looking ahead 

As I continue to settle into my role as an associate engineer, my focus remains on further growth within the IT field. I aspire to become a proficient tester and explore avenues for specialization, with an eye toward potential opportunities in programming down the line. 

Advice for career changers 

For those contemplating a career switch, I offer this advice: don’t let fear hold you back. Embrace the opportunity for growth and expansion, but do so with a realistic approach. Take advantage of the resources available — ask questions, seek out free educational materials online and immerse yourself in the industry language.  

Most importantly, ensure that your desire for change is genuine and well-informed, and be prepared to put in the necessary effort to make your aspirations a reality.