Tell us about your education and how you came to work in IT.
I studied Computer Science at A level as I always enjoyed the IT modules at school. It was a natural progression for me to go on to study Computer Science at university. I completed my degree at Queens University, spending my year out in what was then, Compaq, in Galway. I loved my placement year and this reaffirmed my decision to pursue a career in the IT industry.
I graduated in 2000 and took up a graduate position with Nortel where I spent 5 years before accepting a Software Engineering position with Liberty IT.
What does your job entail?
As a Senior Software Engineer, I work on an application within our Commercial Insurance IT division, working into our US parent organisation, Liberty Mutual Insurance. As part of my role, I manage the scope and planning of the monthly release commitments, working closely with our business team to prioritise work and ensure the work that we do aligns with the company’s strategic direction. Additionally, I oversee the delivery of all aspects of our project commitments and ensure that best practice techniques are embedded within all of our project deliverables.
The work over the years has been wide and varied and I have had the opportunity to work on numerous projects with exposure to a variety of technologies, alongside regular visits to Liberty Mutual’s home office in Boston.
How has working at Liberty IT helped you to advance your skills?
Since joining Liberty IT back in 2005, I have had the benefit of attending a multitude of technical and professional training courses aligned to my development needs. That’s what I love most about working here – the ability to manage your own career; there are lots of opportunities to challenge yourself to fulfil your career aspirations. The fact that this is reinforced from the leadership team is very encouraging and provides the motivation to take on opportunities outside your comfort zone and continually build on your skills. As the organisation continues to grow, I believe there are lots of opportunities to have a long and fulfilling career within Liberty.
What would you say is different about working in Liberty IT in comparison to other companies?
Upon joining Liberty IT, I was amazed at the investment made in employees in terms of training, entertainment, travel and career progression, in comparison to other organisations. The investment in STEM is also something that I am very encouraged by. I love that as a company, we are inspiring young people to pursue IT as a career and to embrace technology and learning as a life-long passion.
You are a busy mum of three, how do you ensure you maintain a good work-life balance?
For me personally, it’s always a challenge to achieve the balance between home and work, especially with young children. The flexible working policy available within Liberty IT really helps but I am also very fortunate in that I have a fantastic support network around me. Having the option to work from home enables me to support the kids’ ever expanding social and sporting commitments. I can leave work on time knowing that I can log on from home to close out on anything outstanding on my “to-do” list.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
My kids Amelie, Alex and Lois, aged 6, 4 and 3, see to it that my spare time is very limited! However, when I do get a minute, I enjoy a glass of wine and watching my favourite TV shows like Dexter and Game of Thrones.