Career Profiles: Claire Fitzgerald

What is your name?

Claire FitzGerald

Where do you work and what is your role/job title?

I work for Arup where I am a Senior Consultant in the Advanced Digital Engineering team.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Despite working from home full-time due to Covid-19 yes, my job allows for a very happy lifestyle.


Questions about your current Job

How did you go about getting your current job?

I applied for it when I saw it advertised on the Arup careers page.

Describe a typical day.

Now almost every day starts with checking emails and a daily Geospatial team stand-up meeting – online of course!  I lead the Geospatial team from our Dublin office, and we provide geospatial solutions e.g. webmaps, geospatial analyses, automation tools, to our colleagues in infrastructure, flooding, environment, water, energy, and buildings amongst other groups.

As a consultant, I spend a lot of time on communications and reporting. A look in my calendar tells me what meetings are scheduled that day, and then I follow up with colleagues on project work e.g. advising our London colleagues on what satellite imagery to use in their development project, plan future work e.g. develop the methodology and scope of the cost of a remote sensing tender response, speak to clients about our progress on their projects e.g. strategies to use geospatial data in their work, etc.

What’s the coolest part of your job?

As Arup is a global company I can work with colleagues and clients on projects around the world, which is great as there are people working in Arup with a hugely diverse range of knowledge and skills to learn from.

Are there any elements of your job that you dislike?

Administration is always the least fun part of the job; however, it must be done!


Questions about your education and training

What subjects did you take in school/college and how have these influenced your career path?

Maths, physics, and geography were among the subjects I studied for my Leaving Certificate which have provided a great technical knowledge base, and I use information and skills gained through college courses in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and data analytics on a daily basis in my current job.


Questions about yourself

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Working on large international projects with societal and environmental benefits – from conservation work with the United Nations Environment Programme to disaster response coordination with the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.

What is your dream job?

Cartographer and/or space science journalist


Advice for people thinking of this job as a career choice

What advice would you give to someone considering this job? Are there important personal characteristics, or good work experience they can undertake for example?

Working in STEM requires solid knowledge of computer-based technology – if you have an aptitude for this and are genuinely excited and enthusiastic about learning and pushing technical limits and finding solutions then this is a great career option. More and more people with the curiosity and skills to extract meaningful information from data are needed, meaning there are a lot of employment opportunities in this area.

Important personal characteristics for working in this area are problem-solving, organisation, and communication skills.

Good work experience for this kind of job would be analysis-based work, and project management experience is also very valuable.