For more than a decade Intel Ireland has ran the Women in Technology scholarship program which encourages a new generation of high-achieving women to take up the challenge of a career in science and technology. The program forms part of a wider focus by Intel to empower girls and women by fostering educational opportunities and encouraging females to participate, prosper, and lead in the global economy.
The program is available to female school leavers entering, in September 2017, specified four year undergraduate degree courses in science, technology and engineering. The scholarships are applicable to a wide variety of courses offered at third level institutions across Ireland. The program offers a monetary grant valued at €3,000 per annum as well as opportunities for work placements at one of Intel’s Ireland locations in Leixlip or Shannon. Each scholar is also assigned a mentor who is an Intel employee to assist and provide advice on managing their academic career.
During the Summer of 2017 a number of the current Intel Women in Technology scholars completed work placements at the Intel campus in Leixlip, Co. Kildare, giving them the opportunity to gain firsthand experience of Intel’s business and to work together with Intel employees from across a variety of different business groups. We recently caught up with four of these scholars to hear about their work placement experience at Intel.
Q: How did you find out about Women in Technology Program?
Emma-louise: A friend tagged me in a Facebook post!
Róisín: My college sent an email around recommending the scholarship.
Q: What is it like to work at Intel as a scholar?
Stephanie: It’s a really good experience. As it’s not compulsory in my course it can put me at such an advantage. I know a lot who don’t have a placement on their course. I’m going to come out of college with a year’s work experience which is fantastic. It’s very hard to get that experience when you’re only coming out of first year.
Ekaterina: When somebody asks what are you doing for summer and you tell them you are working for Intel everyone gets quite a shock, we’re treated like actual graduate employees in work.
Stephanie: It’s great exposure to work. You learn so much in terms of the way things are done in business compared to college.
What’s it like the first time you walk in?
Emma-louise: Yes this is my first time, the place is absolutely huge. When I walked in I couldn’t believe it. In fairness we had 3 get-togethers before we started so we recognised each other and knew the place ‘kind of’ but it was definitely still daunting.
Ekaterina: It’s amazing – a real eye opener. Hopefully a job for life haha!
Q: What have you enjoyed about your experience of working at Intel?
Emma-Louise: All the stuff we’ve learned, it’s such a head start on next year.
Róisín: I’ve learned a new programming language which is such a benefit to me.
Would you like to come back to Intel?
Ekaterina: If they would have us!
Emma-louise: Before coming to Intel with my course I’d have preferred to head down the financial route. Coming to Intel and working in the department I work in, it has definitely changed my mind. That’s a reason why I’d like to come back.
Q: Is there anything in particular that stands out for you about your placement experience?
Róisín: Just really how nice everyone is and how useful it is for my course in college.
Stephanie: It adds to our repertoire so like if it does come up in the future we know we have done it in the past. When I started here for the second time I was so much better at programming just because of doing it.
Emma-Louise: I’m perfectly suited to the department I’m in so it’s great to know a scholarship can be that relatable. That’s the main thing that stands out for me.
Q: Would you reccomend the scholarship program to other students?
Stephanie: Every single young woman that is going into a tech course I have told them to apply!
I wasn’t going to apply to it, I thought the amount of applicants would be crazy and I’d never have stood a chance.
Róisín: A lot of people still don’t know and it’s such a shame, I emailed my lecture to ask if anything was happening and she told me about it. I never looked back after that.
Emma-Louise: Absolutely, it’s really sad I’ll be leaving in a few weeks!
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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