Aboriginal People in ICT: Shannon Polches

Shannon Polchies

Shannon Polchies

Shannon Polches has her foot in the door of the IT Industry. She began her summer job at the ‘start-up accelerator’, Planet Hatch, several weeks ago and has found the work to be diverse and rewarding.

“I’ve made so many connections, it’s great,” said Shannon. “My title is Communications and Special Project Assistant. I assist Sally, the Executive Director of Planet Hatch, with whatever she needs; event planning, newsletters and google analytics.”

Before landing her job at Planet Hatch, Shannon was enrolled in JEDI’s Mobile Application Development (MAD) program. The course taught her how to program and was a big help in readying her for Planet Hatch and the IT industry.

“It was really rewarding,” said Shannon. “Before I got into this, I didn’t know anything about computers. When I saw my first website ‘live’ on the screen I was like ‘Wow!’ I didn’t see myself in this field, it’s awesome. The work that I’m doing now and some of the technology used here at Planet Hatch, I am already familiar with because of the program.”

Opportunities are presenting themselves everywhere for Shannon. Aside from Planet Hatch, she uses the skills she learned from her MAD training to work as a free-lance web developer as well. One of her goals is to use her IT knowledge and experience to develop capacity in First Nation communities.

“I aspire to see all First Nation communities prosper through economic development, education and wellness,” said Shannon. “Establishing and sustaining IT capacity within First Nations is vital to this prosperity."

Shannon is definitely well on her way to a successful career. Her advice to other Aboriginal people is to be proactive and open to trying new fields of study.

“Some may be apprehensive about starting a career in ICT, I know I was!” said Shannon. “However, technology is definitely an up and coming sector to be involved with; many new jobs will be created within the years to come.  So why limit yourself to a career you feel ‘comfortable’ with?  Take the plunge into the technology era!”

JEDI wishes the best of luck to Shannon in this job and all of her future endeavors.

Planet Hatch is an entrepreneurial hub connecting startups to the best resources in order to help them succeed. Boasting a collaborative work-environment, Planet Hatch also supports early-stage companies with access to coaching, mentoring, funding, space, and educational tools to bring their ideas to market reality.