Have you always wanted to work in STEM?
When I was younger, I really liked math and solving little puzzles, so I always knew I wanted to work on something that would challenge me. I didn’t really realize I wanted to work in technology until I started my API in software development.

In college, I study… IT with software development. It’s a four-year course and I couldn’t be happier with my career choice.

My most formative work experience has been… at Google. In the summer of 2022, I worked at Google Dublin as a Site Reliability Engineer as part of their STEP (Student Training in Engineering Program) internship program. The people I worked with were so supportive and encouraged that it gave me confidence in my abilities and made me realize that I had definitely made the right choice in pursuing this career path.

My first real job was… works as a riding school instructor. I used to work evenings and weekends (almost every time I wasn’t in college) and loved it. I have taught people of all ages and learned how important good communication is.

The most valuable thing I’ve learned so far is… good communication is essential for everything in life. Whether in your professional or personal life, communication is essential. If I’m struggling in college or need help with something, I’m never afraid to ask for help.

A common misconception about what I do is that… that computer science is more suitable for men or that you have to like computer games to study computer science. I’m neither a man nor the slightest interest in the game and I’m thriving. When I was doing my PLC for software development, I was the only girl in the class and I didn’t understand why. Computing is for everyone and there are great supports for women in STEM.

My main responsibility at work will be to… learn. When I was at Google, I was encouraged to learn as much as possible and to never stop asking questions.

Do you have a career mentor or someone you look up to/seek advice from?
The first person I always go to is my mother. She was the one who encouraged me to apply for scholarships and internships and supported me in my return to school.

The biggest risk I’ve taken in regards to my career so far is… quit working with horses to pursue studies in computer science. Before doing my PLC, I worked at the shipyard and hoped to develop a career in teaching or riding to earn a living. Going back to school was a pretty big risk for me because I was leaving something I knew I loved for something I had never tried before.

I wake up at… whatever time I have to be up to get to college on time! As a student, I sometimes have to stay up late to do homework or to revise for an exam the next day.

The first thing I do every morning is… have a cup of tea. I don’t think I could function without at least two cups of tea before college.

My morning routine is… tea, porridge, check emails and more tea.

I can’t go to college without… my earphones. Sometimes college can be quite loud with all of us students and it can be quite overwhelming. I have the biggest pair of noise canceling headphones that I bring when I have to work or if I’m just a little noise sensitive that day.

I’m going to college in… auto. I’m so lucky to be able to drive and I have my own little car that I’ve had since I started driving. My car has been through a lot (having a learner behind the wheel was not kind to it!) and it’s sometimes affectionately called Penny…because that’s all it’s worth.

The most useful professional tool I use on a daily basis is… Google search. As most computer scientists know; the key is to google everything.

I save time by… prepare my lunch the night before. It’s quite expensive to eat out every day in college when I don’t have time in the morning to do anything.

I rarely go through my day without… discuss with my friends. I’m so lucky to have some really good friends that I talk to every day.

The best part of my day is… come home after a long day and have a really big cup of tea.

The hardest part of my day is… trying to put me in college mode. When I walk into class in the morning, it can be hard to activate my brain to listen and take notes and it always takes me a few minutes to get going.

I know it’s been a good day though… I’ve done most things on my to-do list. I like to have a little mental list of things I need to do for the day, but sometimes the items on my list can be really trivial like “make sure to put my laptop in my bag for college in the morning”. Small goals are much more achievable and make you feel good!

I usually end my day at… the kitchen table having a cup of tea with my family and discussing our days. It’s really nice to keep up to date with what’s going on in the lives of my siblings and my parents and share with them what my day was like as well.

I quit university/work in… go to the stables to see my horse (his name is Buttons). Seeing Buttons after a long day is so nice because he’s a great listener! I also have a few friends in the backyard and it’s a great way to relax after a long day.

Before going to bed, I… watch a show on Netflix. My current favorite is Gilmore Girls – it’s a nice little half hour to relax and have fun.

I often prepare tomorrow by… packing my lunch for the day and making sure my school bag is packed. I used to forget my laptop charger once or twice a week, so I definitely learned my lesson. Always make sure you have a laptop AND a charger, not one or the other!

After a long week of work, I de-stress by… going for walks with my friends. We’ll take a walk in the woods or walk around the estate and just say how our week went and catch up on what we missed. When I’m feeling very energetic, I can usually convince someone to climb Sugarloaf Mountain with me!

The accomplishment I am most proud of is… Enter university. I didn’t complete a junior or a school leaving certificate, but I did complete three years at two different PLC colleges and took a very alternative path for the most part. I think it is important for young people to know that there are many ways to access university and that the leaving certificate is only one of them.

If you want to get started in my profession, I advise you to… make sure you love what you do. Computer science is such a broad course and it can be hard to find the niche you really love. If you have the will to look for what you really want to do, you will definitely find it. I myself still don’t know what area of ​​tech I want to be in, but I’m doing everything I can to expose myself to the different roles that might be available to me after college.

The most common bias I run into in my industry is… nothing for the moment. On the contrary, being a woman in IT has only helped me. I am so lucky to have been awarded the Generation Google scholarship for women in computing in Ireland. This scholarship was created specifically to help and support women to navigate their way through a male dominated industry and there are many other similar supports available for women in STEM.

The Google Scholar program aims to engage a new generation of young women in Irish universities. For context, recent statistics from the CSO reveal that while tech workers have the highest annual earnings in Ireland, only 32% of all ICT employees were female – with women accounting for just 5% of all telecommunications engineering positions in Ireland.