Celebrating Women in Tech: Spotlight on Technology Partners’ Very Own Katie Hauck and Jamie Starostki

Welcome to our International Women’s Month Q&A featuring Technology Partners’ leaders, Katie Hauck and Jamie Starostki, remarkable professionals with a breadth of experience in technology and management roles.

First, let’s hear from Katie Hauck, who began her career at TPI as a project manager on the software development team in 2021 after working at Monsanto (Bayer) for many years. She recently transitioned to assist another key company leader, Kim Brandon, with creating a new practice focused on project management.

Katie Hauck

Q: Katie, tell us about your role and your journey to where you are today?

A: My journey has taken me from marketing into technology over the course of two decades. Technology was becoming increasingly more integrated into various aspects of business when I started my career. Leveraging these innovations for marketing services evolved into leading software implementations, project management, and process optimization. It’s been a fun, natural progression.

Q: How do you keep up with trends in technology and what transferable skills have helped you adapt?

A: I focus on remaining agile. Keeping up with trends is more than staying up to date on new tools and platforms. It’s also understanding how they shape our behavior. Over the years, technology has definitely transformed how we communicate and collaborate. Some aspects of communication are easier while others are more complex.  The key is finding the best way to collaborate as teams and with our clients.

Q: Women in technology—what are your thoughts on the current state of diversity in the industry and how can we improve it?

A: We have come a long way, but diversity is still an issue.  There are a lot of ways we can make change. Increasing STEM education opportunities, employers offering inclusive and flexible work environments, and mentorship programs can all help.

Q: Speaking of mentors, who has played a significant role in your career, and have you been involved in any initiatives focused on this?

A: Mentors have been key in my journey, providing guidance and support, especially during the early stages of my career. While I haven’t been formally involved in mentoring initiatives, I’ve always embraced opportunities to support and empower others, particularly women navigating similar paths. It’s essential to create a culture of mentorship and support within organizations.

Q: Can you share any shoutouts to mentors or colleagues who have influenced your success?

A: I’ve been fortunate to have encountered supportive individuals throughout my career, although there isn’t one specific mentor to mention. It’s been a collective effort, with various colleagues and leaders offering guidance and encouragement along the way.

Jamie Starostki

Jamie Starostki has been with the Technology Partners’ Web and Mobile team since 2019 and has served on several Solutions projects.

Q: Jamie, can you share with us your journey into the world of IT and how your previous experiences shaped your career path?

A: My journey into IT wasn’t a direct one. I studied advertising and marketing, with the goal of working as a copywriter or account executive. After college, I dove into nonprofit work, where I found myself wearing many hats, from events and marketing to leadership roles. It was during one particular event, focused on raising funds, that I saw the power of technology. I began integrating tech solutions, like using APIs to connect systems, to enhance fundraising, and I was hooked. This led me to transition into IT, initially as a business analyst, and eventually into program and project management roles. It’s been a crazy journey, but one that I wouldn’t change for anything.

Q: What attracted you to the culture at TPI, and how did you find your niche within the company?

A: The culture at TPI immediately resonated with me. Having worked closely with various CEOs during my nonprofit endeavors, I understood the importance of leadership in shaping company culture. When I met Lisa (Nichols) and the team at TPI, I knew I had found something special. Everyone was genuine, down-to-earth, and genuinely good people. The stars aligned, and I joined TPI without hesitation. Starting as a business analyst, I found my niche in helping developers with UI requirements, eventually transitioning into project and program management roles.

Q: What were some of the key challenges you faced during your journey, and how did you overcome them?

A: One of the biggest challenges for me was stepping into a predominantly technical environment as someone with a non-technical background. It was humbling, but I quickly learned that asking questions and being willing to learn were essential. I was fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly supportive colleagues who were always willing to lend a hand. TPI hires exceptional people, and that made all the difference. Over time, I gained confidence and embraced the opportunity to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.

Q: What advice do you have for individuals looking to pursue a career in IT, especially those with non-technical backgrounds?

A: My advice is to have an open mind and a willingness to learn. IT isn’t just about fixing computers. It’s about solving problems and driving business transformation. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore different avenues within IT. Remember, it’s okay not to have all the answers. What matters is your willingness to learn and adapt. And above all, embrace your innate skills and qualities—they’re often the ones that set you apart.

Want to learn more about Technology Partners and what we’re doing to bridge the women-in-tech gap? Reach out today.

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