1.What is your name?
2.Where do you work and what is your role/job title?
Cork Institute of Technology & International Space University – Space Social Media and Communications.
3.What were the main ‘career decision’ milestones in your life so far?
Getting my undergrad and masters in Mechanical Engineering and completing the 2015 Space Studies Program have been career milestones to date that have really helped direct my career with in the space sector.
4.Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
Growing up it would have to be the astronauts during the Apollo missions and later on the ones that went up in the shuttle to the International Space Station.
5.Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
Yes it does, I am lucky that my career choice heavily overlaps with my personal interests so I guess I am lucky in that sense, there is also a lot of opportunities to travel.
6.How did you go about getting your current job?
I had been an External Relations assistant at the 2016 Space Studies Program helping to promote the exciting day to day activities of it, and with it being held in Ireland in 2017 I managed to join the host organisation team at the Cork Institute of Technology to bring my social media and communications expertise to the team.
7. Describe a typical day.
Each day can be very different, most of the time I am working on content for our wide spread social media campaign that we are running for SSP. Or I could be working on videos, photos and lots of communications with people from all over the world.
8. What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
My main task is the running of a large social media campaigns to promote the 2017 Space Studies Program and Space in general to the national Irish and international audiences.
9. What are the main challenges?
It would have to be working with people from across different countries, industries and cultures: it’s important to keep good communication with everybody.
Getting to meet and work with Astronauts! They are very down to Earth people!
11. What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I am not sure if this is a skill but I definitely have a huge passion for the industry which makes it so much more enjoyable to work in it. I also have good problem solving and analytical skills to help overcome problems when they inevitably arise!
12.What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
Engineering, Construction Studies, Biology and Maths were probably the main ones that influenced my career path, but I have used some part of every subject I have studied in my job at some point.
13.What is your education to date?
I completed my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2013 and my masters in it in 2014. Completing the 2015 space studies program in July and August 2015 gave me a broad understanding of the space sector.
14.What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
For me learning to have a curiosity for the way things work and how to go about coming up with creative solutions to a wide variety of small and big problems which I definably learned how to do in school and college have helped my tremendously in my job.
15.Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
I would like to study something more about business as it’s a rapidly expanding sector within the global space economy and it would be really useful to have.
16.What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
Meeting astronauts is definably a highlight and introducing kids to space is a hugely rewarding when they see just how cool the universe is.
17.What personal qualities do you have that help you in your career?
Definitely loving everything about space helps and having a curiosity about everything and anything is a big plus.
18. What is your dream job?
I’d love to be involved in a specific ESA or NASA mission, on the front lines of it, maybe designing it or in the mission control.
19. What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
I’d start watching every video and reading every book on space that you can find, that will help you figure out what area of space you are most interested in. Having a solid education can’t hurt but don’t worry if you’re not a straight A student, I’ve managed to work myself into the career somehow!
20. What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
Good communication skills, creative and outgoing personality and a drive to succeed!
21.What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?
If you wanted to get into the communications side of things, then anything with in the journalism field would be good. If you were more interested in the engineering or science stuff then there are lots of engineering companies out there and labs to do some placements in.