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Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Luke Drea from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:
|The most important thing to keep in mind is that this is more of a life style than a job.|
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I guess the first milestone was going to college to study science. I was interested in physical sciences & this course allowed me the opportunity to study a broad range of subjects in first year without getting too specialised initially.
The second milestone would have been discovering research during the fourth year of my science degree which was pivotal in determining the next 4 years of my life pursuing a PhD. The PhD itself was an important period in my life - besides the knowledge you gain in your subject area it teaches you vital skills which you use on a day to day basis in the working environment - some personal examples of skills I would perceive as having greatly improved as a result of my research would include, improved confidence & ability to work on own initiative, presentation & communication abilities & also how to manage a project by solving problems, prioritizing tasks & meeting deadlines.
The third milestone was getting the job in Intel - at the time I was in the final stages of writing my thesis when I got the job offer. Up to that point I was undecided whether to continue research in a postdoctoral capacity or join industry. I think the company profile, opportunities available & also the added bonus of job security were central to my decision to join industry.
I was never a person who knew exactly the career path I wanted. My parents always encouraged me to work hard & pursue a career that I would enjoy so I took this advice on board. I was quite technically minded & inquisitive into how things worked so engineering was the obvious choice but while studying physics & chemistry for the leaving cert I decided that science was what I wanted to do.
A defining moment would have been completing two research related projects in my final year science degree from which I gained a strong interest in research which resulted in me signing up for a PhD. I had an excellent PhD supervisor in Prof. John Simmie who provided valuable advice & gave me the opportunity to work to my strengths.
On completion, I then had to decide whether to stay in research or else join industry. I saw the Intel position advertised & applied. I knew Intel were a world leader in their field with a strong emphasis on R&D so that is why I decided to apply for a career with Intel. Once out in the working world I think self drive & ambition are very important in order to succeed. My current manager has been superb in mentoring my progression within the company.
Yes - my job allows me to live a normal lifestyle - work 8-4.30 Mon-Fri with weekends off although on occasions it's necessary to work longer hours but the company does actively promote a proper work/life balance. The job also provides me with security, good pay & excellent benefits.
I have the opportunity to pursue further education & training while also having a clear progression path based on your abilities & contribution. Travel is another perk of the job - business trips, training courses & conferences to US & Europe are regular. There is also an on-site gymnasium and an active sports & social club so always something to do. Also the location of Intel means you are always going against the traffic!!
Like most young people at the time of picking Leaving Certificate subjects I was completely undecided as to what I wanted to do so I kept my options open by choosing a Business subject - Business organisation, Science subject - Physics & Chemistry, language - German. After two years of science for Leaving Cert it was then I realised that I wanted to pursue a career in physical sciences.
The one disadvantage I had in starting college was that I hadn't studied Biology before (which was compulsory in first year college science) so straight away I needed to pay more attention to this subject in 1st year science. Had I known when picking leaving cert subjects that I wanted to pursue a career in physical sciences then Biology would have been a wise choice.
My PhD was in the area of physical chemistry (as opposed to organic/inorganic where most graduates end up in the pharmaceutical sector) and most of the chemistry associated with semiconductor processing is physical so it was a wise choice!
Since joining the company I have completed many in-house training courses as we have an Intel College of Engineering with a vast array of courses on offer.
I am currently completing a Visual Basic programming course. I do plan on pursuing an accredited business management course later this year. Intel actively encourages further education & has close links with neighbouring NUI, Maynooth and also has an excellent online library providing access to all the major Science & Engineering books and e-journals.
Getting through college and completing a PhD have been very rewarding - at the time its hard work but you reap the benefits when you enter the workforce. In my current role I have been recognised both on an individual and team basis for numerous projects which have resulted in process & manufacturing improvements.
A recent project has been accepted at a conference in San Diego later this year so it's very rewarding to be able to present your work to others. Promotions since joining the company are also very rewarding - it’s a nice way (€€!) of getting recognised for your hard work and commitment.
I work in a role where I am dealing with people across multiple disciplines and differing levels of education so I think one of the most important things is to treat everyone on an equal level. I am relatively organised and have learned how to effectively divide time between tasks and prioritise tasks.
I see myself as easy to get on with, patient and approachable which are essential skills in a team environment. I am hardworking and ambitious which ensures I constantly strive to learn new things and remain motivated.
Most Science & Engineering university degree courses now provide a period of work experience usually during second or third year. My advice is if you are interested in working in a particular area then try to gain work experience in a company related to that specific area.
Intel take in many co-op students every year on work experience where they gain a good understanding of how the company operates and what we do. The people/culture in Intel is probably no different to a lot of manufacturing companies but the process is certainly unique and extremely technical.