Helen currently works as a Build SMR (Site Made Ready) Program Coordinator, meaning she oversees coordination of Visionstream’s wireless construction program and schedule. She says it was the support of her first manager that really helped kick start her career.

“I started as a casual employee working for the scheduling team at Visionstream New Zealand in March 2010. That manager took me onboard and became my mentor from the start,” she said.

“She gave me the leads and the opportunities, and the only thing I could give back was my best. Over the years, I was promoted to Scheduler, Program Manager 2IC, and then Program Manager where I met another great mentor.

“I’m so grateful that I had people who just thought they were helping me to grow professionally — but their gestures actually shaped me as an individual.”

Now based in Australia, Helen says she is constantly learning and developing and there is never a dull moment!

“It’s a high-speed environment. You don’t get bored!” she said.

“It’s amazing to think that every project, every strategy and every critical decision your company makes can have your fingerprint on it in a good way.

“I interact with several people on different levels of the organisation and across all functional areas inside and outside of Visionstream. I am constantly learning and it’s addictive.”

Helen says she takes great pride in being part of the telecommunications industry, helping to connect people across Australia.

“It’s been recognised the world-over as an important tool for socio-economic development of a nation and plays an extraordinary role in the growth and modernisation of several sectors,” she said.

“It’s a very competitive and rapid-paced growing market, so you need to be on top of what’s happening in the market to be at the top.”

Helen said that for young women starting out in their careers the power of a strong support network cannot be underestimated.

“Recognise people that you can have as your mentor — it doesn’t necessarily need to be someone from work,” she said.

“They are full of knowledge and experience, and it will assist you hugely. Be grateful for the help you get and replicate it to others around you.

“Be prepared to work hard and spot growth opportunities when they present themselves. You can initially think you are not ready, but as Ginni Rometty, chair, president, and CEO of IBM said, growth and comfort never co-exist.”