OKWIT | Bijal Patel
Providing a forum for women in technology in Oklahoma
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Bijal Patel

Bijal Patel

Tell us a little about yourself.

I like learning, reading about, and using new technology.  I enjoy music, movies, staying active, and spending time with my family and friends.  Love to travel and have a goal to cover all 7 continents.  Work hard to meet both professional and personal goals and I try to have as much fun doing so.

 Describe the Type of Work you do?

I currently work at an oil and gas company managing and leading a team that supports a business critical accounting, finance, and HR platform.  Spend most of my time managing tasks, projects, resources, budgets, and requests from our business users.  We collaborate with most of the IT teams to manage the communication of changes being implemented and to ensure we understand the impact to our systems.  Collaborating with multiple IT teams allows teams to brainstorm issue resolution from several perspectives and helps with having an open dialog to begin cross training and knowledge sharing to understand and respect what each person is responsible for.  I try to coach and mentor resources to find opportunities of growth and allow them to widen their skillsets.

What led you to a career in technology?

I was always fascinated by technology since a young age and as I grew up I wanted to see how that could be integrated into the business world.  I studied MIS and when I landed my first corporate job implementing imaging software, I was even more intrigued at the capabilities technology can provide.

Why did you join OKWIT?

Meet likeminded people.  In my career, I have been lucky to have both men and women in IT who were willing to be my mentor and be an advocate for my interests, however there are still a few struggles for women to overcome in IT.  I would like to help bridge the equality gap and also have the opportunity to engage in more STEM related activities to mold young minds to keep an interest in STEM related fields.

What book are you reading right now?

Beyond Measure – How small changes can lead to a culture shift.  There are several books that have been recommended to read at work and personally.  When I get the chance, usually while traveling to a vacation destination, I try to catch up on reading.

Favorite TV show? Movie?

Favorite TV show used to be House and Person of Interest.  I like most of the Marvel shows and movies.

What is your favorite App?

Pinterest is my favorite app to pass time and get great ideas for recipes and DIY projects.  I also like Flipboard, TED, and Whatsapp.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I have an adventurous side and that I don’t use Facebook.

If you could have dinner with any 3 people, dead or alive, who would you choose?

Princess Diana, George Harrison, Jayne Bhaga

If you could change one thing in today’s society, what would it be?

Discrimination.  Educate people that every human life is precious and should not be judged unfairly or mistreated in an manner.