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, as we celebrate 30 years of Intel Ireland, we will be sharing their stories – meet the people of Intel.
Lee Daly, 24
I’ve only been at Intel for two years, having arrived as an intern straight from college and then never left! Starting in to the world of work, I wanted to make sure I had a good balance of work and down time. I get up every morning at 5.30am so I get time for the gym or to do some pilates, and after work, I go fly fishing or play tag rugby. It means I get to completely change up the energy of my day after work.
I’m very aware of the importance of constantly working on mental health and self-development because I suffered from a spell of anxiety when I was younger. It was that tricky age of starting secondary school and I started having panic attacks in the run up to exams. I wasn’t eating or sleeping properly and it was only by talking it all out with my grandmother that I grew out of it. Maybe that’s why I started volunteering with Childline a few years ago because I understood the importance of speaking about your problems and how crucial it is for young people to have a safe space to talk. I do it four hours every week, and as I once heard someone say, volunteering is the most selfish thing I do, because I feel I benefit so much from it. It really helps me as a person and has taught me how to actively listen and be supportive without having to offer solutions.
The hardest call I ever took was a teenage girl who had just been diagnosed with cancer. Listening to a child say ‘I don’t want to die’ was so hard but what really struck me was that all her anxiety and pain was about the guilt of what her family were going through. I think if that was an adult it would have been much more self-focused, but all she could think about was the impact on others. The biggest shock for me though is the different order of magnitude in terms of the problems kids face today even in the relatively short space of time since I was in their shoes. Sexuality and sexualisation seem to be huge issues, especially in terms of young people feeling they need to tick certain boxes. Cyber bullying was a big thing when I was at school and still is, although now it can be much more subtle and thinly veiled and the number of young people linking their self-esteem to the number of likes they get is overwhelming. A few years ago I would Instagram my gym visits and the number of likes affected me until I grew an awareness about it and stopped, but many of the kids I listen to are right in the middle of it and can’t get away from it.
I think maybe my experiences at Childline also really help me at work, as I’m ambitious to move into people management as my career develops. I love communicating with people and my day goes much better when I’m involved with team projects so any opportunity I can to take a lead role for a team I will. Because I’m only here two years I can still relate to the interns coming in and so I really enjoy working on the ten-week STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) challenges we set for them because not only does it build my leadership skills but I know they’re important initiatives and I like giving something back. I was one of the first intern guinea pigs when the initiative started and five years later I’ve had the opportunity to lead them. One of the most important parts of my Childline training was learning to just be there and to guide and support rather than offer solutions, and I think that works well in leadership too.
Many people wonder why I’m so into my fly fishing as it does often seem that only old men do it (I think there is an old man inside me though as not only do I love fly fishing but my music interests are jazz and the likes of Dean Martin!). I started going about ten years ago with my dad but wasn’t that interested and gave it up when I was at college. But when I wanted to develop out-of-office, outdoor interests I gave it another go because I was super bad at it and decided I would learn the skills. Now I love it and I still do it with my dad. I’m hoping to take a holiday to Scandinavia later this year to do some fishing as the fish there are huge. You never know, maybe one day I’ll set up a Fly Fishing society at Intel to try and bring the average age of the sport down a bit!
Perhaps because of my own experiences with anxiety when I was at school, and because of the work I do with Childline, I feel really grateful for my life and very much in charge of my own happiness. It all began with having someone to talk to, and I still talk to my grandmother every week.
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