Keeping I.T. in the family

Newtownards sisters Finola and Kathryn Young have both secured roles with global tech company Neueda, having joined the business through completely different routes.

Neueda offered Kathryn a full-time software engineering position following her successful placement at the company while studying IT at South East Regional College (SERC) in 2016, and in late 2017, Finola, with a non-IT degree from Ulster University, successfully completed the company’s Tech Academy training programme, which resulted in her securing a full-time position.

Kathryn explains why she chose to pursue a career in IT:

“I had been working in a call centre and fast food restaurants when I decided I wanted a rewarding career that played to my strengths and interests. I have always enjoyed challenges and problem solving and felt technology was a natural fit. I returned to further education and studied a Foundation degree in Computing at SERC in Bangor.  

“As part of my course, I secured a 12-week placement with Neueda and have been here ever since. I was offered a paid placement opportunity through the summer months and when I graduated in August 2016, I accepted a full-time software engineering role. I haven’t looked back.

“Given that I was fresh into the industry, being part of an ambitious local company that works globally was absolutely fantastic. I have learned a lot from my colleagues and through working on a wide variety of projects with public sector, private sectors and capital markets clients. Neueda offers tailored training to move you along your chosen career path and I’m excited to be progressing my career here.”

Kathryn and Finola.

Kathryn and Finola.

Finola had studied Geography at Ulster University and was working in geographic information systems when she too decided to explore her interest in tech:

“Making the decision to change careers was not an easy one. Like Kathryn, I always had an interest in problem solving and IT appealed to me, but I didn’t know how to get into the sector. Seeing Kathryn enjoying her new-found career was definitely inspirational.

“I heard about Neueda’s new Tech Academy designed specifically for non-IT graduates interested in kickstarting a career in IT. I was successful in gaining a place and participated in an intensive 12week course at Belfast Met. Neueda was heavily involved in the training programme which included a week at the company’s HQ in Belfast. This helped familiarise us with the culture and technology.

“I found out just before Christmas that all 16 of us on the Tech Academy had secured a full-time role. Since then, I’ve had brilliant ‘on the job’ training as part of Neueda’s Managed Services team, supporting the digital needs of major international clients,” Finola said.

Belfast headquartered Neueda, which has a strategy to bring talent into IT from outside traditional tech backgrounds, is also committed to encouraging more females into the sector.

“Kathryn and Finola have both come to IT from completely different backgrounds and training routes, which we hope will inspire others to explore options they perhaps didn’t know existed,” said Paddy O’Hagan, Chief Operating Officer, Neueda.

“We want to open our recruitment net wide and invite people to retrain or upskill in IT. Neueda is also keen to encourage more females into the IT sector to address the global gender gap in the industry.

“Through working with partners in education, such as SERC and Belfast Met, we can tap into, develop and nurture new talent. Kathryn and Finola’s experiences highlight the routes into the industry and the varied experience that a modern career in IT offers,” Paddy said. 

Neueda reinvests over 10% of its annual profits to develop its people through leadership, technical and personal skills improvement, as well as through its graduate and apprenticeship programmes.