People Behind the Product: From the Lakelands to the Lab

Bronagh McStravick

27th Jul 2022
People Behind the Product: From the Lakelands to the Lab

Jessica Shaw is a Junior Lab Analyst who began her journey with Cirdan back in 2018, as a placement student. After working as a molecular scientist during the pandemic, she re-joined the company in 2021. Her daily activities include engaging with customers, assessing their software needs, and testing software to ensure it is fit for purpose and to standard.

Outside of her work at Cirdan, Jessica is a keen outdoors enthusiast and an award-nominated entrepreneur. As well as enjoying the great outdoor activities which her home area of the Lakelands has to offer, Jessica is a talented businesswoman. Through beginning her own start-up company in cosmetics, Jessica has received nominations for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2022, as well as the Sustainable Strategy Award in the local business awards.

Alongside these great achievements, she has also undertaken her MSc in Software Development from Queen’s University Belfast.

We caught up with Jessica to get a deeper insight into the daily life of a Cirdan Junior Lab Analyst, and how Cirdan forms an integral part of her busy life.

What activities does your job involve on a daily basis?

My role as a Junior Lab Analyst blends into multiple areas of the business – from engaging with customers, capturing their needs within software to discovery site visits, pre-sales and finally, testing the software to ensure its to a high standard of development and fits the intended use.  It’s a great opportunity to pair my own experiences within laboratory and clinical settings with the software development lifecycle. Every customer is unique, and a lab analyst role allows the customer to drive development and prioritise what is important to them. Helping to facilitate this, and ultimately streamlining technology systems with healthcare is an extremely rewarding experience.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

The variety of the job! Every week is different, and you get the opportunity to work on exciting, innovative projects that can make a big difference when implemented in a real-world setting.  As well as this, the employees at Cirdan are great. Everyone is helpful and approachable. There’s not one person you couldn’t approach and have a laugh with!

How do you spend your time outside of work, and what are you most passionate about?

I live in the Fermanagh Lakelands of Northern Ireland, so outside of work you can find me on the lough paddle boarding, cold-water swimming or exploring the many forests and estates with the dog. When I’m not doing this, I create and sell my own cosmetics which has grown into its own small business. Just this week, I’ve been shortlisted for Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 and for the Sustainable Strategy Award in the local business awards. I’m still in shock!

How did you get started with Cirdan?

I first started with Cirdan as a placement student back in 2018, as the third year of my Stratified Medicine undergraduate degree, and re-joined the company in April 2021 after working as a molecular scientist during the Covid pandemic. Since then, Cirdan have helped me to grow my technical skillsets by supporting me though a MSc in Software Development with Queens University Belfast. The support and mentorship which Cirdan has provided to grow as a person has been invaluable and I’m looking forward to what the future brings.

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