00:00:04 My name’s Nicole H. I work for IBM as a Technical Specialist in data warehousing and data management. So that involves meeting with customers, presenting to them on data warehousing. You might have a supermarket who’s got lots of data on sales and they might want to do analytics on that to help them decide what promotions, what offers they want to put on, how they want to arrange the layout of their store, so it can help with those kind of decisions.
00:00:30 The thing that I enjoy the most about my job at the moment is being given completely new challenges fairly regularly, being given the time and the budget as well to take on those skills and do lots of training and gather skills in new areas. When I was at school I was very bookish and a bit of a geek I guess to say the least. I really enjoyed school and my Mum taught at the school that I went to and was actually my year head for three years and then she went on to teach me A level maths, so there could’ve been a few problems there but it was okay and I really enjoy studying.
00:01:01 Originally I wanted to be a vet but unfortunately my A level results weren’t quite good enough. So biology was my favourite subject at A levels, so I decided to stay on and do biology with an emphasis on zoology and the animal study side of things at Southampton University. I was in halls for my first year as most people are, and I really enjoyed that and I think that adds to the university experience. My sister and brother both stayed at home when they were at university and I think you do get a completely different experience as to when you live in halls and then move into shared accommodation with the other students, and I guess getting those life skills like cooking and cleaning and all the things that maybe you didn’t do when you were at home.
00:01:40 Because I enjoyed the practical side of things so much during my degree, I thought I’d stay on and do a PhD there and this kind of led on to my current career because during my PhD, I did a lot of work with bioinformatics, statistics and computing and a guy in the IT department recommended IBM as a graduate employer. So I applied, went through the recruitment process and got offered a job and that’s where I am now. I’ve been working for IBM for a year and a half.
00:02:07 I have two big inspirations but the first one was my Mum because she taught me at school and she was there. I don’t think I would’ve got anywhere where I am today without her help, particularly at school to help me achieve as much as I did. The second person would be my twin sister, Emma. So we were in the same classes at the same time, going through school together, university at the same time and the competitive side of things when we were going through school really helped as well. Gave us a bit more motivation to do well and get the grades that we needed.
00:02:36 I went to Vancouver for two months while I was doing my PhD to work there in the lab and it was a fantastic time because it was the first time I’d been abroad for work and flying out by myself and it was quite nerve racking really meeting all these new people and learning new skills, but I had the support of my Mum. She kind of came out and made sure I was okay and also because it was a cheap holiday for her too, I think.
00:02:58 Horse riding is my main hobby because that combines my enjoyment of being outside, working with animals and just enjoying sports and exercising and I’m also a very keen skier and cyclist. So most of my hobbies are sports-based and outdoor activities. But if the weather’s bad, I like staying in with a good book, plenty of reading, I enjoy that.
00:03:17 In five years time or a few years time, I’d probably still see myself working for IBM in a technical capacity because that’s something that I’m really enjoying at the moment, but I’m not going to rule out a complete change of career in the future, maybe going into an area of animal care or retraining and going back to university and studying to become a vet. That might be something that I would do in the future. Something I’d be very interested in anyway.