What inspired you to pursue a college course in computing?
During my time in secondary school, I had a keen interest in science and maths and it was this interest that made a future career in engineering appealing to me. Once I got into my engineering course, I found that my strengths lay in the computing side of engineering over the research side through the introductory modules on offer, and this formed the basis of my decision to focus on the computing side of chemical engineering.
Was there a good focus on STEM in your school in Laois?
Luckily, I spent the last 2 years of Secondary School at St Mary’s CBS Portlaoise, and there was a very strong focus on STEM subjects. The school was only recently built so we had access to state of the art facilities, multiple offerings for STEM objects, and ample opportunity to go on field trips around the country.
It was good to hear in your Vlog that you like the creative aspect of your previous work in MSD.. What led you specifically to chemical and bioprocessing engineering and what does that involve?
My family are from Nigeria which is an oil rich country with a strong need for petroleum engineers so I always had that as one of my main goals while in school. However, after moving to Ireland, and starting off the CAO process, I realised that no college in Ireland offered Petroleum Engineering but rather Chemical Engineering was the preferred choice for colleges. This prompted me to do some research into the chemical engineering industry here in Ireland, and I realised that the main industry for chemical engineers in Ireland was Pharma. This made the choice to study chemical and bioprocess engineering easy as I really wanted to stay in Ireland long term, and the prospect of being involved in the manufacture of life saving drugs for people all over the world was too much for me to ignore.
What has been the most interesting aspect of your third level studies?
I think the most interesting part for me was the multiple opportunities to go on internships. During my 5 years in college, I was able to spend nearly 18 months in various companies putting to practice the various learnings from my degree. It was even more exciting because these internships were in various industrial fields which really highlighted the diversity of opportunity that comes with a career in STEM.
What does the future hold for you career wise in a perfect world post pandemic?
In the post-pandemic world, I am hoping to go back to college to pursue an MBA because as a Chemical Engineer, we are expected to possess strong business acumen to maximise production and lessen the financial burden on our patients all over the world. So that is the long term plan, but in the short term I will keep supporting the production of life-saving medicine.
What advice would you give to a young person still at school who is considering a future in science or engineering?
The best advice I can give is to talk to someone who is currently either working or studying in the field you’re interested in. There is nothing better than first-hand experience from someone who’s been there and it would help you imagine what a career in that STEM area would look like. College Open Days and Open Evenings are a great source of first hand information as well as Campus Tours too if you’re lucky to attend any of them. I found these tools were really helpful for me to realise a career in STEM was right for me.