E-skills for Women: Interview With Annica Törneryd

In June this year, nyuko launched a program called eSkills for Women with the support of the JPMorgan Foundation and ADEM. It’s a one year training starting with three weeks of intensive workshops and then ongoing follow-up and online training. The program has been created for women who want to develop their IT-skills to access jobs in the digital sector or start their business in this area. Annica C. Törneryd is a Rapid Results Coach and was selected as one of the fifteen women who joined eSkills for women. She has been a speaker at Geek Girls Carrots Luxembourg meetup during Geek Week Luxembourg and is the author of The Last Single Mom. We wanted to find out a bit more about her experience during this program and why she wanted to take a part in it.

Why did you apply for the « eSkills for Women » program?

I saw a post about the application procedure on Facebook, and when I read the agenda I felt “this opportunity was created for me”! All the workshops sounded fantastic and were just in line with the skills I needed to boost the start-up phase of my business.

What business idea did you enter « eSkills for Women » program with?

My business idea is to provide quality coaching for high-achieving female entrepreneurs who are decided to take their business to the next level and still manage to enjoy their life. My services are mainly provided over Skype and through online webinars, with communication through social media and website, hence the importance of upgrading my eSkills.

What workshops were presented during « eSkills for Women » and how long did the full program last?

The initial agenda had 12 workshops. But along the way, Marina Andrieu-Thiriet, who’s the Project Manager at nyuko, arranged a few more very valuable workshops. Through the month of June and July we had workshops every week such as; Design Thinking & User experience, Online security, Content Management System, HTML and CSS coding, Ruby programming, SEO & SEA, Social Media, Personal eBranding, Content Marketing, Business Model Canvas and Business Model You, Graphic Creation with InDesign and additional sessions of programming.

Which workshop was your favorite and why?

It’s hard to pick a favorite, because I really enjoyed most of the workshops. But to name a few that stood out, I would say Design Thinking together with the two days of Business Model Canvas and Business Model You. The reason I liked these workshops in particular is the blend of creativeness and practicality. What I learned in these workshops can be immediately implemented and were not only very useful for continually improving my own business, but also great tools for me to share with my clients!

Share with us your proudest moment during this program?

I was actually quite proud, and grateful, to be one of the fifteen who passed the selection procedure to start with! During the program I am proud to have contributed with a half-day workshop on Time Management, Rapid Planning Method and How to create an ad on Facebook. Most of my work is in English, but this workshop I presented in French, and I am proud to have stepped out of my comfort zone to contribute to my fellow students.

What is the hardest thing you have done during this program?

A combination of feeling the uncomfort and doing it anyway. I mean my workshop in French! Knowing that you will be “judged” in the feed-back form we did after each workshop, I challenged myself to focus on the positive.
It was also quite intense. Full days of workshops, then hurry home to take care of my three children, homework and household and then try to squeeze in some work and revision of the workshops in the late evening.

If you had this program over again, what would you do differently?

I would just enjoy it all over again! And perhaps allow myself to not put so much pressure in terms of adding work hours in the middle of the night during this period.

How and why would you encourage women to get their eSkills up to speed?

One thing I find very empowering is to be able to manage your own website. If you’re thinking about setting up a small business, or already have one, I would encourage women to learn the basics of WordPress. By having a website you become visible online and you can easily promote your business through social media. Having the skills to create your own website, to be able to change and improve it along the way, create landing pages for product launches and free workshops is very valuable. Or at the very least, by having the basic skills in how to build a website, it improves the communication you have with your web designer.

As the « eSkills for Women » program is over, is there a good network you can reach out to in Luxembourg if you want to continue forward with your eSkills?

One of the great things with this program is that participants are invited to join nyuko Sharing. We can continue to profit from the co-working open offices to exchange experiences and get support. nyuko offers several opportunities for the participants to continually progress in our business, such as free legal advice and access to the Lynda learning platform with a vast library of online trainings.

If you had a time machine that would work only once, what point in your own future or history would you visit in order to gain new eSkills?

Wow! I would go for a ride into the future, and take a look at my web design skills I have achieved over the coming five years. I would bring that knowledge back and make a smashing website to promote my business and attract the perfect clients! I will also make a copy of a smart application I have created for my clients, bring it back and launch it immediately to save that time and instantly add value to my business!

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