When people think of Intel in Ireland, often what comes to mind is the scale of our operations and the complexity of our technology. What they perhaps do not think about, is the people who make all of this possible and the diversity of their stories.
With a population of employee’s equivalent to the town of Roscommon, Intel Ireland is home to a vibrant, diverse and dynamic collection of people.
Intel is a place that is full of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends and neighbours and over the next number of weeks, we will share stories of these people as part of our latest series of the People of Intel.
Ash Qureshi, 26
Hardware Design Engineer, Intel Movidius
Being the third generation of Iranian immigrants in Pakistan, our family life was heavily colored with Persian culture and language – not being able to speak Persian fluently is one of my biggest regrets, although I can understand most of it pretty well. I’ve always had an adventurous streak and wanted to travel and so when I got a scholarship for a BEng in Electrical Engineering, I left for the University of Bradford in the UK. It was hard, as it was the first time I’d be away from my family for quite a long period of time. The only big challenge for me having left my family home, was learning to cook for myself! It took a while but I’ve developed some quite good skills – a big shoutout to my Greek and Italian housemates for putting up with my miserable cooking!
In 2015, I did my industrial placement year at Intel in Swindon, UK as an Implementation Engineer Intern in the Analogue Mixed Signal Design Engineering group. Swindon is not very far from London and has a South-western British vibe. It has the touch of elitism in its beautiful suburbs and a very vibrant city center. Rugby is religion, and the ‘cheese is great’!
After finishing my Master’s degree, Intel HR contacted me to see if I was interested to be part of the Intel family again. I went through the interview process and was offered a job as a Hardware Design Engineer with the Movidius team who are based in Ireland. I was happy to make the move and ready for more rain and stronger winds – just kidding, Irish summers are great!
I like that Ireland feels very close to nature and that wherever you go you aren’t far from the sea or mountains. In Pakistan, we spent our summers in the northern areas exploring the mountains, and so I’ve enjoyed hiking here because everything is so accessible – the awe-inspiring beauty of the Wicklow Mountains is unique and truly magical.
Much as I would have loved to have learned to play GAA, I’ve stuck to my home sports of badminton and tennis – although it’d be great if Dublin had more cricket grounds.
This year has obviously been interesting from the pandemic point of view that really has changed the world forever. Pakistan’s COVID-19 response has been globally acclaimed as a “success story” in controlling the virus, and therefore, was spared the worst. The pandemic also meant I got to spend more time in Pakistan than intended this year as I actually spent the first months of lockdown there (I went home in March and then all the international flights where shut down). It was a blessing to be able to work from my family home during these times as I was there for 5 months before I could get back. Luckily as everyone else was working from home, this was ok… admittedly my ‘from home’ was thousands of miles away! But it was really amazing to have that time with my family again. That said, I put on a lot of weight because I was practically force fed during the whole time! My clothes didn’t fit and I had to shop for new clothes before coming back to Ireland in August.
I’ve found the Irish people to be very accepting and loving, and never faced any kind of racism, in work or elsewhere. In Ireland, I’ve been very fortunate to have made friends from all walks of life. A bit like Pakistani people, the Irish are very freedom loving, perhaps because we’ve both fought hard for that freedom! I do want to learn more about the Irish language and history and when I can, want to explore the rest of the country.
It’s been a great experience being here, and I’m really thankful to my Intel team members and Ireland for being so friendly and supportive and creating a home from home for me.
Go Raibh Maith Agaibh …
Read some more of the stories from of our People of Intel series.
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