Making the transition across sectors can feel like a daunting prospect, especially when you’re coming into the Bristol tech scene without any prior experience in the industry. But we’re a friendly bunch in this community, and we’d encourage everyone to take a chance on the tech sector. If you’re ready to take the leap in 2023, have a browse at some current South West tech vacancies on our jobs board.  

With tech being a relatively new sector that has grown exponentially in recent years, you may be surprised to learn how much of the workforce has little to no education in tech (myself included). For every app developed, wearable built and code written, there is a team of people with transferable skills behind the product marketing, selling and producing it. So before dismissing yourself as ‘not a techie’, it might be worth considering what a career in tech could offer you. 

And what is a better way to help you visualise this other than through a real story? To get you inspired, we caught up with Naomi Jeremy, Experience Operations Manager at Bristol-based startup Yuup

Yuup is a local experiences platform founded by Bristol entrepreneur Dominic Mills. The two-pronged approach helps people find and book local experiences to do with their friends and family whilst encouraging local, passionate people to turn their skills into an experience they can make money from. Naomi recently joined the team and is here to share her story.

A fresh start on the Bristol tech scene

Firstly, if there’s one piece of advice I could give to people looking to start a role in tech, it would be to find volunteering opportunities in organisations with purpose. Volunteering allowed me to try different roles to see what areas I enjoyed, especially when I didn’t have so much experience. I could then pinpoint different skill sets and decide which roles to go after and I realised that helping other people was a big driver for me. Wanting to get up every day and do a role is about the bigger picture.

Having been made redundant at the start of the pandemic, I was keen to find a new opportunity in Bristol where I felt I was able to contribute to something good on a local level, that helped people through social impact. That’s when I came across the job at Yuup! It felt like it ticked all the boxes for me as someone who loves supporting local independents and would often spend my weekends seeking out things to do in Bristol, the city where I grew up. 

For the last year and a bit since joining Yuup, my role has been working as an Experience Coordinator, making sure all our hosts get all the support they need when joining the platform. At the time the team was really small, there were around 8 of us. Since then, we’ve grown to a team of 15 people. It’s been an exciting time developing the behind-the-scenes of the platform and witnessing our community of amazing experience hosts grow to include Bath and now Birmingham.

Having studied Music at Bath Spa University, perusing my passion for singing and performing, I next discovered an interest in storytelling and digital marketing which led me to work in several marketing and community focussed roles. These include being the Director for Bristol Women in Music, an association raising the profile of women working in the music industry, working at the Festival of Voice, Cardiff’s international music and arts festival, and most recently as a Marketing Officer at Tobacco Factory Theatres.

Whilst I had some extra time on my hands during the pandemic, I took the plunge and followed my curiosity for all things self-development and positive psychology, deciding to train to become a life coach and mindfulness practitioner to further develop skills in helping others.

Following this journey, I have just been promoted to Experience Operations Manager at Yuup, which I am very excited about!  This involves me overseeing all things customer support and host relations as well as managing the operational side of the business from onboarding new hosts, to helping them with their profiles and bookings, as well as suggesting useful platform improvements for better useability.

The marketplace enables people to find new local experiences to try in their cities, from pottery to comedy nights to cookery and food tasting experiences, there’s something for everyone! Our hosts are existing businesses, or passionate individuals wanting to share their side hustles and expertise with others, many of whom end up running them as businesses in their own right.

I’m also part of Sønder Choir, a Bristol-based vocal collective incorporating gospel, neo-soul and contemporary music influences. I have been a part of the group for around 4 years now, and absolutely love it, as everyone is at a great level of singing, so it really pushes you.

Being part of a choir, singing harmonies and developing our craft, brings a great sense of community, and is great for my mental health. Maybe I’ll start to offer singing workshops on Yuup one day! I’m hoping next year to further develop my mindfulness and would love to start offering some workshops, I feel with the times we’ve been living through lately, we could all benefit from some tools to help us prioritise our wellbeing in 2023. 

If you’re ready to join the Bristol tech scene, check out our jobs board to browse the current vacancies in our community.