RN Turned 'Tech Girl' Tanya Sam Explains Why She Wasn't Afraid To Disrupt Tradition For The Life Of Her Dreams
Photo Credit: Getty Images for AFROTECH

RN Turned 'Tech Girl' Tanya Sam Explains Why She Wasn't Afraid To Disrupt Tradition For The Life Of Her Dreams

There is so much power in making the pivot and trusting that it’ll all work out!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Tanya Sam (@itstanyatime)

Disrupting Tradition

For Tanya Sam, growing up within a very traditional African family left no room for sudden career changes. In fact, if it were up to everyone else, she would’ve remained in her position as a registered nurse (RN) until it was time to retire, but the universe had other plans.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Tanya Sam (@itstanyatime)

“This is something that I would have never anticipated because I feel like I grew up in a very African family,” Sam told AfroTech after killing two segments during the 2022 AfroTech Conference in Austin, TX. “That said, you do one career and you hold it for life and that’s very true for nursing, medicine, etc. So all of a sudden, I had this choice where I was like, pivoting into something new and I think that alone, and giving myself the grace and understanding that, in this beautiful life that we live, we can have multiple different career trajectories. We can do multiple different things. We can be the multi-hyphenate, multidimensional superwomen that we are.”

Making The Transition Into Tech

In 2015, Sam joined TechSquare Labs where she took on a position as the Director of Partnerships. To date, the company has reportedly invested in more than 30 businesses and each business is said to have generated more than $100 million in revenue while raising upwards of $300 million in venture capital funding.

There's Room For Everyone

Now, as she continues to learn the ins and outs of the tech space, Sam reiterates her belief that there is a spot for everyone in the booming industry.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Tanya Sam (@itstanyatime)

“I’m not a technologist and I say this all the time… there’s a place for everyone in tech because technology and software are truly eating our whole world,” said Sam. “No matter what business you are, no matter what background you come from, there is some special part of you that can add passion, intelligence, excellence, and expertise to building something that is technology enabled.”

Don't Be Afraid To Get It Wrong

When it comes to the difference between her life as a nurse and the journey toward building something in tech, Sam’s journey is proof that letting go of fear can catapult you into the life of your dreams.

“In nursing or in medicine, when you made a decision, it could potentially be life or death,” Sam recalled. “Not many decisions in life are life or death. So, letting go of that and understanding that, you know what, it’s okay to fail and I think shedding these myths. I grew up in a household where it’s like, nobody failed. You got 99 percent and people were wondering what happened to that other percent. I understand that because it taught me discipline and a work ethic that led me toward excellence, but there’s something beautiful about failure and I don’t think we should fear it as we do.”