Without Career Ready I would never have had exposure to the industry I want to work in

My professional network is so much bigger than it would have been without Career Ready. 

Who are you?

My name is Lydia Quinn and I’m a student at North West Regional College. This year I was the runner up in the AstraZeneca STEM Student of the Year Award for Technology and have been selected as the Sir Winfried Bischoff Award winner for Northern Ireland 2016.

How did you feel before you started the programme?

I was very unambitious and didn’t have a clear career plan in mind for the future. I lacked confidence in my abilities and often said no to opportunities because I didn’t think I was capable of what I wanted to do.

I also lacked confidence when speaking to people, even when it came to asking questions in the classroom.

What was the most significant influence on your during your time on the programme?

My summer internship at Seagate Technology really inspired me to focus on my career – I now plan to work in software development. I gained a lot of confidence by managing my own time and projects.

I really enjoyed the internship and have stayed in touch with the people I met there.

What skills have you developed?

My confidence and presentation skills have improved massively though giving a number of presentations and assisting in masterclasses.

I’ve built up my ability to network with people and my professional network is so much bigger than it would have been without Career Ready.

How do you feel to have won these awards?

Unbelievable! It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to build connections and show people what I’m capable of. I would never have thought someone like me could be nominated for either of these awards.

Without Career Ready I would never have had these opportunities. I would not have experience in or exposure to the industry I want to work in. Now I've had so many different opportunities which have helped me achieve my goals.