At 16 years of age, she left everything she knew for a promise of a better life.
Now almost 10 years later she’s a qualified hacker set for life and aiming to help put criminals behind bars.
This is the story of Carolina Kamiński, a 25-year-old newly graduated computer forensic who decided to leave her old life in Poland behind for the chance of a brighter future.
Carolina moved from Kraków, Poland in 2012 when she was just 16 years old.
Fresh out of school she made the big decision to leave her hometown and everything she knew for a better life in the UK.
The idea came to her in year 11 while she was sat in class.
She looked around and saw all her peers with such set ideas of what their future held for them in Poland and she knew that her hopes and dreams did not match theirs.
She says: “I wanted more than what they had planned for me.”
She travelled the distance from Poland to Liverpool and immediately started working and supporting herself, not long later she had applied for college.
Carolina was determined to make her future everything she ever hoped for.
She explains that growing up she was always taught that her goal in life should be to find a rich man that would support her, but she always wondered why she could not be her own rich man.
She had so much passion for the future she was making for herself and is lucky that she did because her road to success was not always easy.
She was constantly surrounded by people that told her she was not smart enough.
Her first set of hurdles came at college, where she was destined to spend the next five years of her educational life.
In her first year, she along with a handful of other internationals were taught GSCE Maths and English, the teacher had very little hope in the class. However, she passed with ease.
The next year she applied to do ICT level 3, however, without explanation and without a single test her tutor decided that she was not fit to do such a level and put her in for level 1.
She was downhearted and angry, but she used this passion to drive her forward and eventually four years later after mastering all four levels, she was free.
It was during these four years that Carolina found a real passion for what she wanted to do.
She was surrounded by men on this course, four for every one girl, and she was belittled and underestimated at every turn, by both fellow students and teachers.
However, she believed in herself and she ended up top of the class.
She says: “I could see the industry was missing something. The industry needed someone like me. It needed more women. This has always been such a male-driven world and it has made people believe that only men are capable of doing these things. But I’m a woman and I can do it too.
“Women perceive things so differently to men because we have a lot more empathy and we see things more rationally and so we are needed for the sake of finding different outcomes to these problems put in front of us. Without us some problems would go unsolved.”
Carolina’s next set of hurdles came at university when she decided to study computer forensics at LJMU, where she would learn crucial skills that would help her in her future career.
Here she noticed a slight increase in numbers when it came to female participation, however there were still three boys for every girl and she could feel a clear divide between the genders.
She says she was constantly made to feel inadequate.
One thing that upset her was that all the girls were put to work separately a lot of the time as the boys did not want to work with them.
However, on occasion when they did work together Carolina says: “I was always made to feel like I didn’t have a voice and that my opinion didn’t matter”.
“They just did not think I was good enough”.
“I tried to prove to them that I was smart but when I shared my high marks, they accused me of cheating”.
When asked what kept her going, she said it was because she had a point to prove, not only to them but to herself.
Carolina ended up getting a high first in her degree and although due to the pandemic she is currently searching for work, she has big dreams for the future and hopes that one day she can join a private investigation company as she knows it will give her better opportunities for growth and her career.
Carolina also hopes to inspire other girls to take that leap and follow their dreams, no matter how hard or impossible it may seem.
Featured Image: Carolina Kamiński