Want My Job? with Shwetal Shah

Read about the work of the eternally enterprising Shwetal Shah of Erase All Kittens who has spent her life closing the gap between science and technology, and social issues.

Want My Job? with Shwetal Shah

What is your current job title? What does your job involve?

Head of Partnerships and Outreach, I am responsible for creating partnerships with social enterprises, schools and charities to promote the video game we are working on to help children learn coding, and do an outreach so that we can reach maximum number of students and turn them into makers and innovators of tomorrow, I am also responsible for getting funding via grant organisations and venture capital and applying to interesting competitions and awards such as MIT SOlVE, European Youth Award, World Summit Award, World Bank to name a few which we have recently applied to and won.

What's great about your job?

I love my job because it helps me form an intersection between my heart's gladness and the world's hunger, the fact that my work creates a positive impact on society and that I get to travel to a new country each month because of my job .

What are the bits you don't like or find challenging?

The startup life is full of hustling and working round the clock, which means I need to be constantly on top of my email and juggling various roles, and also funding initially and getting paid well are some of the challenges that we face day to day.

Tell us about what we can expect from you at MozFest

My specific role at Mozfest this year was to work on youth zone and to bring in social activists, I got invited to do that after I made a documentary on young change makers in the UK, I reached out to various organisations like vInspired, Peabody Trust, Mayor of London offices, UK Youth, individuals like a 11-year old self taught programmer, 25-year old who developed a youth leadership academy to many others using tech for good to share knowledge and deliver sessions which can arm others with tool kits to create positive change.

What do you hope people will get out of your MozFest session?

Mozfest is an amazing platform to learn about all the new technology being created and used for good across the world, we are lucky to have this fest in London which welcomes 2,000 people from across the world who are here to teach, learn, create, collaborate, with 700 sessions being submitted this year, there is something and a lot more for everyone, overlooking the o2 in London and the peninsula it becomes a centre of innovation every last weekend of October with the likes of CERN to hackers from Germany and Kenya descending over Ravensbourne with amazing opportunities to network and socialise in the after party.

In what ways do you think technology will continue to push art, and vice versa?

There are a lot of ways that technology is helping promote art, by creating archives online for everyone to see, Google's Museum project is a great example of that where they let anyone virtually enter museums like the Louvre Paris, to MOMA New York, or projects that use all sorts of technology to create art from AI recreating Picasso to using chemistry for making a bone structure from stem cells.

With rise of AI and concepts like universal job income being tested out, may lead to a rise in people spending more time creating art too and using tech to enhance that art.

Is there a particular area in technology that you are excited to see develop further?

I am very interested to see how education technology in the class room and STEM related toys can help students become equipped with a lot more skills than traditional text book based learning did. working on a video game myself where we want to teach coding to kids, which is also a session being run at Mozfest this year would be great to see how kids play and co create the game with us.

Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge has been going from a non technical academic background to a technical professional path, I had no idea what Github or open source was, what a code spaghetti was but because of the exposure to tech these days it was easy to learn and over come hurdles by going to hackathons, taking free coding classess online and in London via organizations that offered it and along the way discovering a great community to be part of.

Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?

The only advice I would give to young people is to see what is happening out there in terms of events and projects they can be part of after school, most employers want to see extra curricular initiatives that students do as opposed to just grades. I got hired every time only because of the side projects I did be it making documentaries or organising science lectures with scientists for the public, all employers saw a lot of value in these projects I did in my spare time and went on to hire me, it was also easy to collaborate and work with people because they liked the ideas and thanks to Twitter and Linkedin asking people for help has never been easier and creating spare projects with the help of funding from organisations like o2 think big, vInspired, UK Youth etc has led to more opportunities.


Want more tips on working in the arts? Head on over to Creative Choices, a website filled to the brim with advice on how to get into the arts.

Author

Bhavesh Jadva

Bhavesh Jadva Voice Team

Former Media Editor on Voice and former Arts Award Editor on AAoV covering film, TV, music and comedy.

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