My next interview to share with you is with Maria Ingold who is CEO and Technical Consultant at Mireality. Her role as technical consultant is in Video On-Demand (VOD) with a speciality in delivering the most secure content, this being premium films in the first rights window. Maria built the architecture that delivers on-demand films for Virgin Media and Film4oD and consults for a wide range of companies from start-ups to established VOD providers on a global scale. I asked her what she liked most about her job:
I love consulting – the variety and challenges and the opportunity to work with a wide range of companies on a global scale. I’m also a BAFTA judge – I love working with film and I’m thrilled to be part of the distribution chain on the on-demand side.
Maria then told me why she chose a job in the IT industry:
When I was seven my father showed me how to write a “for loop” in a programming language called FORTRAN in the basement of the military installation. Something about that moment, and the rooms of floor-to-ceiling computers, stuck and fascinated me forever.
I asked Maria if she had always wanted to work in IT and surprisingly she answered “no“. When she was two she drew her first picture of a face and for some time thought she would become an artist. She briefly thought of becoming a lawyer at 14 then eventually when she was 17 she combined both art and IT to be the first person at her university to study Computer Science and Fine Art.
We then talked about school and Maria told me that when she was at school she didn’t just have one favourite subject:
I liked a lot of things. I think that’s better, it utilises both sides of the brain and the neural pathways in-between. I liked art and computing, but also archaeology, poetry, writing, ballet, gymnastics and my exchange programme which allowed me to experience new cultures and ways of thinking.
Maria’s qualifications include a BSc Hons (1st class) degree in Computer Science with a minor in Fine Art from the University of New Mexico and works on a Masters of Fine Arts in Computer Graphics and Animation from Florida Atlantic University.
Finally Maria offered some inspirational advice to girls reading this:
Do what you’re passionate about. If you’re afraid, use that to challenge yourself to succeed. Break societal norms – you can be beautiful, love fashion, have fun AND have an amazing mind.