Intel Ireland’s success can be accredited to the quality of highly skilled and educated people in its workforce. And through the aid of the Women in Technology Scholarship Program, Intel Ireland aims to encourage a new generation of high-achieving women to take a career path in science and technology.
The Women in Technology program is central to Intel’s mission to empower girls and women within the STEM industry by offering educational opportunities and encouraging females to participate, prepare and lead in the global economy.
During the summer months, our Women in Technology scholars have the opportunity to complete an eight week placement at the Intel Campus in Leixlip, Co. Kildare. Offering the young women the opportunity to grasp a practical and contextual understanding of the workings of Intel, as well as gaining first-hand experience, by working closely with Intel employees across a range of business groups.
We caught up with four Women in Technology Scholars to find out what they have been up to during their time at Intel Ireland.
Q: How did you hear about the Women in Technology Program?
Tara- All of the women on my course got sent an email that included details of the programme. We were encouraged to fill it out, many of the girls on my course applied and I was lucky enough to be accepted. The whole process was very exciting!
Roisin- Like Tara, all of the women on my course got sent an email. We were encouraged to apply. So I took the opportunity and thought I have nothing to lose if I do apply and here I am today.
Q: How did your love for science and technology come about?
Chloe- My love for the subjects resonated since I was a young child. I was the type of child that used to tear things apart and put them back together. And as I got older I had a real passion for maths, so I am lucky enough to be involved in a programme that covers the topics I have been interested in from a young age.
Isobel- Engineering definitely runs in my family – my Grandad, my Dad and all my uncles are hugely involved and passionate in STEM subjects. And like Chloe, I loved maths at school, so I am very grateful to be going down a career path that is relevant to my likes and interests.
Tara- Like the rest of the WIT girls here, science and maths were my favourite subjects at school. I thoroughly enjoyed physics, but I never had the same connection with technology. So I finished school at 17 and decided to take a gap year. I then completed a course in software development, which I loved.
Q: In regards to your college course, is the work at Intel relevant?
Roisin- Yes definitely, the programme allows you to put theory into practice. I was here last year and I have benefited from a contextual understanding prospective, putting me ahead of many people on my course.
Chloe- At Intel, a huge focus is on troubleshooting, allowing myself and my team to identify problems, map a solution plan and see the end result. This practical experience is more beneficial and interesting than the mostly theoretical approach college offers.
Tara- The work is definitely relevant, however Intel is such a huge company and therefore I am continually exposed to more practical programmes and projects that are outside of what I have been taught in college.
Q: Is there one experience that stands out for you?
Isobel- Because I have only been here for three weeks, it is hard to pin-point an exact moment. However, from day one I was shocked to find the amount of respect you are treated with, as well as the responsibility handed to you. You see in the movies interns being treated badly, making coffee all day, but at Intel that is certainly not the case!
Tara- I have been given the opportunity to attend a lot of interesting talks, relevant to the industry. And since I am part of the WIT programme, I had the chance to go to ‘Inspirefest’, which couldn’t have happened without the generosity of Intel.
Q: What is it like to work here as a scholar?
Chloe- It is really enjoyable, getting a taste for the industry. And because I have never been exposed to projects, like the ones I am working on, I am learning every day.
Tara- We are definitely treated the same as ‘normal’ employees. We are given the same amount of responsibility and trust. No one is constantly ‘watching over us’, nor do I feel like we are being ‘babied’. Even the facilities here are a great! When I tell my friends there is a beauty salon next to the canteen, they can’t believe it.
Q: What are your team and department like?
Roisin- Like the rest of the ladies here, we all agree that everyone is so lovely and friendly. There is always someone available for support and help. And the whole team are really approachable, being able to ask questions whenever needed.
Q: What is the most important lesson you have learnt from your placement?
Isobel- It is great to be put into a corporate work environment at such a young age. Not only will I grasp a greater industry understanding, but I will also develop professionally. Understanding how to utilise programmes such as Skype and Outlook in a business setting.
Chloe- The main lesson I have learnt is to always ask questions. Even when I got the opportunity to meet Mike Mayberry, I made sure that I had a couple of questions ready.
Q: What are your future career ambitions?
Roisin- I would love to finish college and go onto to do a masters.
Isobel- I have no definitive plan, but that is the beauty of a placement at Intel, I don’t feel boxed in nor do I feel pressured to have a clear plan. This because of the wide range of career options that the industry offers.
Tara- I would love to get into Data Science. But I know, since starting at Intel, it is okay not to have a set plan, knowing I have the freedom to change my career if I wanted to.
Chloe- I don’t have anything specific mapped out however, I would love to be in a career were I bring sport and technology together, or possibly get into teaching.
The application window is now open for the 2017 scholarship program with submissions being accepted until October 2nd. Further details, along with the online application form, can be found at www.intel.ie/womenintechnology.
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